How to Pick the Best Accredited Certified Nursing Assistant Course Near Juneau Alaska
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of finding CNA training programs near Juneau AK. After you have obtained your certification, you will launch a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly expanding occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it may well seem like a challenging task, it's essential that you pick the ideal school to acquire the necessary training and education. Many future students start with the two most fundamental qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 about that option later. But doing your due diligence prior to choosing a school requires much more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be addressing those topics along with several other questions that you need to be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to start with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
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The Job of a Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants carry out many jobs in the Juneau AK hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Since they are not licensed, they work under the direction and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. And as nursing assistants, their main job function is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic care to patients
- Measuring patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other rooms
CNAs can also work in Juneau AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are defined as routine activities that most individuals accomplish daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants commonly build more of a bond with these types of patients since they often remain in the facilities for extensive time periods. Often, they can become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their relationships with their charges. Consequently, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA DiplomasUnlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Juneau AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to 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 have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it's crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA classes online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a certificate or diploma in Juneau AK. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household obligations 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 active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Classes
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Juneau AK area, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Juneau 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Juneau AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local Juneau AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right Juneau Nurse Assistant Training
Picking the right certified nursing assistant school is arguably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Juneau Alaska.