How to Select a CNA Program near Douglas 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 classes near Douglas AK. After you have achieved your certification, you will launch a rewarding career in one of the fastest expanding positions in health care within the Country. Though it may well seem like a complicated endeavor, it’s important that you select the ideal course to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be considering whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before picking a training course involves much more than comparing the price or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be considered. We will be covering those issues along with various 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 offered.
The Duties of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants complete many duties in the Douglas AK hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. And 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 setting can include:
- Furnishing 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
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs might also work in Douglas 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 identified as routine activities that most people carry out daily without assistance, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants commonly develop more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they may 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 preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Douglas AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a certificate or diploma in Douglas AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online CNA training program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education and employment in the Douglas AK area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, 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 Douglas 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Douglas AK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Almost 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 local Douglas AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in CNA Classes Near Douglas Alaska?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Douglas AK area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
The only traditional school left on Douglas is Gastineau Elementary, which serves all the Douglas Island elementary-aged students; the Douglas Public Library is part of the Juneau Public Library System. Douglas has a few restaurants and bars (The Island Pub, Louie's Douglas Inn, and The Douglas Café), a local live theater (Perseverance Theater), and a gas station. The town’s population has dropped over the years but recently is up to about 3,000 people, or close to ten percent of the City and Borough of Juneau’s population. Douglas gets its water and electricity from Juneau and has a mix of onsite and municipal (diverted to Juneau) wastewater treatment.
Douglas Island was originally a border of the Auke people’s and Taku people’s territory. It was not usually used for year-round settlement, but rather as a place to spend the summer, or at times a place for battles.
In 1880 gold was discovered in Juneau, Alaska, across the narrow Gastineau Channel, drawing in all kinds of people looking to strike it rich. In 1881 two towns sprouted up on Douglas Island: Treadwell and Douglas. Treadwell was the community for the miners, with its own entertainment, pool, and bar. Douglas, too, had businesses popping up and soon had its own school and post office. A railroad and boardwalk connected the two towns. At this time the Treadwell power plant was large enough to power the entire Treadwell area, Douglas, and Juneau. The power plant continued to serve the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine until the mine was shut down in 1944 by the War Department as non-essential to the war effort.
Select the Right CNA Course near Douglas AK
Picking the right certified nursing assistant training program is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Douglas AK.
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