How to Enroll In the Best CNA College near Kodiak Alaska
Once you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Kodiak AK. After you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest expanding occupations in medical care within the Country. Although it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the best program to obtain the proper training and education. Many potential students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be pondering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But performing your due diligence before deciding on a training course involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those subjects along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.
The Job of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many functions in the Kodiak AK hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Kodiak AK nursing homes or long term care centers. 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 carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can become the channel between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to 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.
CNA CertificatesUnlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Kodiak AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 have 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 mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 other requirements as well.
CNA Online Certificates
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and earn a certificate or diploma in Kodiak AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and family commitments 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 active schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 obtain a premium education and employment in the Kodiak AK area, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Kodiak 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Kodiak AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby Kodiak AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Kodiak Certified Nursing Assistant Program
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Kodiak AK.