How to Select the Best CNA Program near Juneau Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Juneau AK. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Although it might seem like a complicated task, it's imperative that you choose the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before picking a school involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various other questions that you should 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 kind of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Juneau AK hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Juneau AK nursing homes or long term care centers. 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 perform daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA TrainingUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA training online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Why Become a CNA?
A CNA is a critical part of any Juneau AK medical organization. In fact, medical care wouldn’t be possible without CNAs. The CNA is charged with the immediate care of residents or patients of the medical facility or agency that she or he is employed by. CNAs also help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have a role in keeping their patients comfortable and safe. As a member of a team, the CNA works directly under a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient tests, taking vital signs, and their observations about each patient’s condition. CNAs also coordinate schedules with other medical professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The job can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and transferring patients during their shift. CNAs spend the majority of their time on their feet because they always have a task at hand. But all in all, it’s the right profession for those who like to keep busy and help patients as well as treat them with dignity and respect.
What to Ask CNA Training Classes
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Juneau 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 colleges you are looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Juneau AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right CNA Program
Selecting the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Juneau AK.