How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Juneau Alaska
Once you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training programs near Juneau AK. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the USA. Though it might seem like a daunting task, it's imperative that you choose the ideal program to receive the proper training and education. Many future students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a school entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be covering those issues as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many duties in the Juneau AK hospitals, clinics and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also work in Juneau AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people perform daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for extended periods of time. Frequently, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have 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 one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have 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 specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet 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. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Juneau Certified Nursing Assistant Program
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within 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 checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a CNA in Juneau AK.