How to Pick the Right Certified Nursing Assistant School near Ketchikan 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 classes near Ketchikan AK. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it may seem like a daunting endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the right program to obtain the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that alternative later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a training course involves much more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those issues along with several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many functions in the Ketchikan AK hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Checking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs may also work in Ketchikan AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they often reside in the facilities for extensive time periods. Frequently, they can become the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant ProgramsUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Ketchikan AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Classes
Enrolling in CNA training online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Ketchikan AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, 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 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Ketchikan AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 Ketchikan 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Ketchikan AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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 too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Ketchikan AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right Ketchikan CNA Training
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Ketchikan AK.