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How to Choose the Best Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Fairbanks Alaska

Fairbanks Alaska CNA reviewing patient chart with NurseNow 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 Fairbanks AK. After you have achieved your certification, you will be starting a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in health care within the USA. Even though it may well seem like a complicated task, it's essential that you select the ideal program to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More regarding that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a training course consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must additionally be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those issues together with a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are available.

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The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant

Fairbanks Alaska Nursing Assistant with senior female patient in assisted living facility

CNAs are on the front lines of providing basic care to patients in a variety of health care facilities, with responsibilities ranging from assisting with personal daily needs such as bathing and exercising to monitoring vital signs and dietary restrictions. All job requirements tend to be non-invasive procedures and revolve around daily routines that patients may not be able to complete on their own. Working under the supervision of licensed nurses, CNAs provide personal, professional assistance, ensuring patients are treated with dignity and respect and while receiving necessary medical care. In addition to being able to provide day-to-day care to their patients, CNAs must be compassionate communicators who can support their patients through difficult and sometimes painful procedures. Because they provide many basic care services such as bathing patients and helping them transfer to wheelchairs, they must also have a certain level of physical fitness. CNAs are expected to be team players, serving as liaisons between other medical professionals and their patients. This often involves recording and conveying important information concerning the condition of those in their charge. CNAs are found in nearly every health care field, serving in Fairbanks AK locations such as long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and hospices.

CNA Training

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at community colleges or at Fairbanks AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's important 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.

CNA Online Courses

Fairbanks Alaska young female student taking CNA training onlineEnrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a certificate or diploma in Fairbanks AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask CNA Programs

Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • State Approval. Each state has its own requirements for training and certification to become a practicing CNA. When researching schools, make sure the program you select is on the state-approved program list to ensure you will meet Alaska's requirements for certification following graduation. While programs across the country all teach the same basic care principles, states may differ on the number of classroom hours and/or clinical practice time is required.
  • Accreditation. The first thing you will want to look for when choosing a CNA school is accreditation. Accreditation is proof that the school in question has met certain standards required to train and educate students. As such, always make sure that the school you are researching is accredited by a national accrediting agency.
  • Program Cost. The cost of a CNA program can vary from school to school, but in general, CNA training programs are less expensive than an LPN training program, as the curriculum is less in-depth. Vocational schools, community colleges and some medical facilities in the Fairbanks AK offer CNA training programs and may charge tuition by the credit hour or as a flat program fee. When calculating the total cost of a program, be sure to include the cost of books, course materials and uniform, background check fees, medical examination/TB test fees and the cost of the certification exam in addition to the tuition.
  • Time Commitment. A CNA training program can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to complete, and will include clinical training hours in addition to classroom hours. One of the reasons becoming a CNA is a great entry into the Alaska nursing profession is this fast completion time, meaning CNAs can enter the work force much more quickly than an aspiring LPN or RN. Many CNAs use a position as a CNA to determine if nursing is the right career for them, and may decide to become an LPN or RN at a later date.
  • Online vs. On Campus. Another program element to consider is whether or not your school of choice offers online courses. Online courses may be more convenient for students who have other work or family obligations that limit their availability to be on campus. Online programs provide students with the flexibility to complete assignments at their Fairbanks AK home on their own schedules. Recognizing the need for flexibility among their students, many traditional classroom CNA programs also offer classes during nights and weekends.

More on How to Become a CNA in Fairbanks

Pick the Best Fairbanks Nurse Assistant Training

Selecting the right certified nursing assistant program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Fairbanks Alaska.


 

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