How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Kenai Alaska
Now 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 classes near Kenai AK. Once you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in health care within the USA. Though it might seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you select the right school to acquire the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that alternative later. But performing your due diligence prior to selecting a school consists of far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be considered. We will be addressing those subjects along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, 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 carry out many tasks in the Kenai AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare 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 work under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs may also practice in Kenai AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a valuable resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Kenai AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it's essential 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 suggestion is to check with 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Kenai AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited 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 hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education and employment in the Kenai AK area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at 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. Also, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Kenai 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 schools 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 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 Kenai AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Kenai AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Kenai Nurse Assistant Program
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick 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 Kenai AK.