How to Select the Best CNA Program near Palmer Alaska
Once you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA training classes near Palmer AK. Once you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the fastest expanding positions in medical care within the United States. Though it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it's imperative that you pick the ideal program to receive the appropriate training and education. Many potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More on that option later. But completing your due diligence before choosing a training course entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be addressing those issues as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many duties in the Palmer AK hospitals, practices and other health care organizations where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Since they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment can include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Palmer AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that most individuals carry out daily without assistance, for example eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants usually develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for prolonged time periods. Frequently, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be an useful resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Palmer AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online CNA Certificates
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Palmer AK. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Palmer AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs differ from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It's important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Palmer 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 schools you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Palmer AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Palmer AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Palmer Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Palmer AK.