How to Find the Right CNA Program near Palmer Alaska
Now that you have decided to enter the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA classes near Palmer AK. After you have earned your certification, you will begin a rewarding career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in health care within the Country. Even though it might seem like a complicated task, it's important that you select the best program to obtain the necessary training and education. Many future students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You might also be debating 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 doing your due diligence prior to choosing a program entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics as well as several other questions that you should be asking before you register 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 Role of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many functions in the Palmer AK hospitals, clinics and other medical organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their responsibilities are numerous and varied, and in a hospital setting may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Taking patient's vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other rooms
CNAs might also practice in Palmer AK nursing homes or long term care centers. In those environments, nursing assistants are more involved in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people accomplish daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they typically reside in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. Often, they may end up being the pipeline between the patient and the balance of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's expertise can be a valuable resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Certified Nursing Assistant CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at community colleges or at Palmer AK vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it's crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to 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 Certificates
Attending CNA programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a certificate or diploma in Palmer AK. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Certified Nursing Assistant Training Classes
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education and employment in the Palmer AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available 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 delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with 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 schools you are considering 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Palmer AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Palmer AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Learn More About Palmer CNA Schools
Choose the Best Palmer Nurse Assistant School
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects 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 post, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Palmer AK.