How to Enroll In the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course near Palmer Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to practice in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of finding CNA classes near Palmer AK. Once you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing positions in healthcare within the Country. Though it may seem like a daunting task, it's important that you select the right school to obtain the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them from home. More about that option later. But performing your due diligence before selecting a program entails much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into account. We will be covering those subjects along with several other questions that you should 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 instruction and credentials that are available.
The Role of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Palmer AK hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities 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 supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job function is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Providing basic care to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs may also practice in Palmer AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, for example eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants usually build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the rest of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. As a result, the CNA's expertise can be a significant resource for planning the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CoursesIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at community colleges or at Palmer AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it's essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Palmer AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points 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 compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Palmer AK area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites 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 completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Palmer AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Palmer AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Palmer CNA Program
Choosing the ideal certified nursing assistant program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Palmer AK.