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How to Select the Best CNA College near Ketchikan Alaska

Ketchikan Alaska Nursing Assistant taking blood pressure of male patientOnce you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Ketchikan AK. Once you have earned your certification, you will be starting a rewarding career in one of the most rapidly increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Though it might seem like a complicated undertaking, it's important that you select the right program to receive the necessary training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to picking a program consists of 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 topics along with various other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.

The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Ketchikan Alaska Nursing Assistant assisting patient with crutches

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Ketchikan AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:

  • Providing basic services to patients
  • Measuring patient's vital signs
  • Keeping a record of patient's health status
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Serving and assisting patients with meals
  • Transferring patients to other rooms

CNAs may also practice in Ketchikan AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they often stay in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.

Certified Nursing Assistant Courses

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Ketchikan AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Training

Ketchikan Alaska Nursing Assistant holding patient health fileEnrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Ketchikan AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Colleges

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with 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 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 already discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education and employment in the Ketchikan AK area, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
  • Certification Preparation. Certification criteria for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required.  Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Ketchikan 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Ketchikan AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Ketchikan AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Learn More About Ketchikan CNA Training

Enroll in the Best Ketchikan Nurse Assistant Training

Picking the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Ketchikan AK.


 

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