How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Bethel 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 training programs near Bethel AK. After you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a complicated undertaking, it's essential that you pick the ideal program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a school entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be covering those topics together with several 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 type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Bethel AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Bethel AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often reside in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant ProgramsUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Bethel AK vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Bethel AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 CNA certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Bethel AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bethel AK healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish 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 superb reputation within the Bethel AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with local Bethel AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Bethel CNA Training
Deciding on the right certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Bethel AK.