How to Select the Right Nursing Assistant Course near Fairbanks Alaska
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Fairbanks AK. Once you have attained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest growing occupations in health care within the Country. Although it might seem like a challenging undertaking, it's essential that you pick the ideal program to acquire the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a training course involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many jobs in the Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Fairbanks AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Fairbanks AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Attending CNA schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Fairbanks AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is a vital member of any Fairbanks AK healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the front line care of patients or residents of the healthcare agency or facility that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a team member, the CNA works directly under a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses depend on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their reports about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including lifting, positioning, and transferring patients during their work shift. CNAs spend most of their day or evening on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who love to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
Things to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education and employment in the Fairbanks AK area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fairbanks AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Fairbanks AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Nurse Assistant Program
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fairbanks AK.