How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Program near Palmer Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA training classes near Palmer AK. After you have earned your certification, you will be starting a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in health care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a complicated undertaking, it's important that you select the ideal school to receive the proper training and education. Many prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may also be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence prior to choosing a program requires much more than comparing the cost or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many tasks in the Palmer AK hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the direction and oversight 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 duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Palmer AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more involved in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for prolonged time frames. Often, they can become the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Because of this, the CNA's knowledge can be a valued resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at community colleges or at Palmer AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial 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 suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Schools
Attending CNA classes online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Palmer AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Palmer AK area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Palmer AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Palmer AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Palmer Nurse Assistant Training
Deciding on the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Palmer AK.