How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Homer 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 training classes near Homer AK. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's important that you pick the best course to acquire the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a training course entails much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those subjects together with various 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 training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Homer AK hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight 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 many and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Homer 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 defined as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for extended time periods. In many cases, they can end up being 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 an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Homer AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Courses
Attending CNA training online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Homer AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education and employment in the Homer AK area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Homer 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Homer AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Homer AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Homer Nurse Assistant Training
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Homer AK.