How to Find the Right Nursing Assistant College near Juneau Alaska
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Juneau AK. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Even though it might seem like an overwhelming task, it's essential that you select the right course to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More concerning that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to selecting a school requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be addressing those topics together with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Juneau AK hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Juneau AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people carry out daily without help, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Should You Become a CNA?
A CNA is an important part of any Juneau AK healthcare organization. As a matter of fact, health care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the direct care of patients or residents of the medical facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also assist with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, most often a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their feedback about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other healthcare professionals such as speech, occupational or physical therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who like to keep busy and help patients while treating them with respect and dignity.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. 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 contact some Juneau AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Check if the schools have associations with local Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Nurse Assistant School
Enrolling in the ideal certified nursing assistant school is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Juneau AK.