How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Classes near Fairbanks Alaska
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Fairbanks AK. As soon as you have earned your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing positions in healthcare within the USA. Though it might seem like a challenging endeavor, it's important that you select the ideal school to receive the necessary training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating 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 completing your due diligence before selecting a school requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics and other health care 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 perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Providing basic services to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs can also practice in Fairbanks AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged time frames. In many cases, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant ProgramsUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at community colleges or at Fairbanks AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Courses
Attending CNA classes online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Fairbanks AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely 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 ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Fairbanks AK area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in 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 working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fairbanks AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with local Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Fairbanks Nurse Assistant Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fairbanks AK.