How to Select the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program near Kodiak Alaska
Once 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 training programs near Kodiak AK. As soon as you have obtained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly growing occupations in healthcare within the Country. Although it may seem like a challenging undertaking, it's essential that you select the right program to acquire the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating 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 school involves far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with various other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Function of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many jobs in the Kodiak AK hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are many and diverse, and in a hospital setting 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 assisting patients with meals
- Moving patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Kodiak AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Frequently, they may become the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at community colleges or at Kodiak AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Schools
Enrolling in CNA classes online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Kodiak AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed 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 free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask CNA Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Kodiak AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check 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 too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Kodiak 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 programs 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 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 Kodiak AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Kodiak AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best Kodiak Certified Nursing Assistant School
Enrolling in the right certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Kodiak AK.