How to Enroll In the Right CNA Training Program near Kodiak Alaska
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training classes near Kodiak AK. Once you have obtained your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in medical care within the United States. Even though it may well seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you pick the best school to receive the appropriate training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More regarding that alternative later. But doing your due diligence before deciding on a school requires far more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into account. We will be addressing those topics together with a few other questions that you should 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 training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Kodiak AK hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Kodiak AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most people accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's expertise can be a valued resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant DiplomasUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Kodiak AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. 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 tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA classes online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Kodiak AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education and employment in the Kodiak AK area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact 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 judgements 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Kodiak AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local Kodiak AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right Kodiak Nurse Assistant School
Picking the right certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 Kodiak AK.