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How to Find the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Juneau Alaska

Juneau Alaska CNA taking blood pressure of senior patientNow 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 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 medical care within the USA. Although it might seem like a complicated endeavor, it's essential that you select the right school to receive the proper training and education. A number of future students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a training course consists of far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects as well as various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.

The Duties of a CNA

Juneau Alaska Certified Nursing Assistant greeting patient with crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Juneau AK hospitals, practices and other health organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital setting can include:

  • Administering basic services to patients
  • Taking patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Cleaning and dressing patients
  • Serving and aiding patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other areas

CNAs might also practice in Juneau AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in helping patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. In many cases, they may end up being the channel between the patient and the rest 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.

CNA Certificates

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired 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, 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it's necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

CNA Online Certificates

Juneau Alaska Certified Nursing Assistant holding patient health chartEnrolling in CNA programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Courses

Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.

  • 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered 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 certain 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 satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, 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 opinions are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Juneau AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

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Choose the Right Juneau CNA Program

Choosing the right certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Juneau AK.


 

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