How to Find the Right CNA Classes near Ketchikan Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training programs near Ketchikan AK. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Though it may seem like an overwhelming task, it's imperative that you choose the best course to receive the appropriate training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also 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 completing your due diligence before picking a program requires far more than comparing the cost or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those topics as well as various 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 type of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Ketchikan AK hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job duty is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Ketchikan 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 the majority of people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these patients since they typically remain in the facilities for extended time periods. Frequently, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CertificatesUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Ketchikan AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Classes
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Ketchikan AK. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. 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. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training 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 decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start 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 choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education and employment in the Ketchikan AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 schools 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Ketchikan AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Ketchikan AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Ketchikan Certified Nursing Assistant School
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Ketchikan AK.