How to Enroll In a CNA Training Classes near Fort Richardson 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 Fort Richardson AK. After you have earned your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing positions in medical care within the Country. Although it may seem like a complicated undertaking, it’s important that you choose the ideal course to receive the necessary training and education. Many potential students begin with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may also be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA program and attend them at home. More on that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a school entails far more than comparing the price or location. Such factors as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be considered. We will be addressing those subjects as well as a few other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to start with, let’s discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
The Job of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Fort Richardson AK hospitals, practices and other healthcare organizations where they work. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the direction and oversight of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to aid the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting can include:
- Furnishing basic care to patients
- Measuring patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transferring patients to other areas
CNAs can also practice in Fort Richardson AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in assisting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without aid, such as eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they commonly stay in the facilities for extended periods of time. Often, they can end up being the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s expertise can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Fort Richardson AK vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 sure that the training 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 may be additional requirements as well.
CNA Online Programs
Enrolling in CNA training online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Fort Richardson AK. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Training Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education and employment in the Fort Richardson AK area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fort Richardson AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Fort Richardson AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Find out if the schools have associations with local Fort Richardson AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in CNA Classes Near Fort Richardson Alaska?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Fort Richardson AK area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Fort Richardson (Alaska)
Fort Richardson is a United States Army installation in the U.S. state of Alaska, adjacent to the city of Anchorage. In 2010, it was merged with nearby Elmendorf Air Force Base to form Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Fort Richardson was named for the military pioneer explorer, Brig. Gen. Wilds P. Richardson, who served three tours of duty in the rugged Alaska territory between 1897 and 1917. Richardson, a native Texan and an 1884 West Point graduate, commanded troops along the Yukon River and supervised construction of Fort Egbert near Eagle, and Fort William H. Seward (Chilkoot Barracks) near Haines. As head of the War Department's Alaska Road Commission from 1905 to 1917, he was responsible for much of the surveying and building of early railroads, roads and bridges that helped the state’s settlement and growth. The Valdez-Fairbanks Trail, surveyed under his direction in 1904, was named the Richardson Highway in his honor.
During World War II, Fort Richardson was used briefly as a holding center for several family members of Alaskan Japanese Americans arrested after Pearl Harbor. Fifteen Japanese Americans and two German Americans were interned here before being transferred to other camps. Built during 1940-1941 on the site of what is now Elmendorf Air Force Base and established as the headquarters of the United States Army, Alaska (USARAK) in 1947, the post moved to its present location five miles (8 km) northeast of Anchorage in 1950. The post then had barracks for 500 soldiers, a rifle range, a few warehouses, a hospital, and bachelor officer quarters. From 1986-1994 the fort was headquarters of the 6th Infantry Division (Light). Fort Richardson is now headquarters for United States Army Alaska (USARAK), a subordinate unit of United States Army Pacific Command. For more than a decade, the major combat unit at Fort Richardson was Task Force 1-501, the only airborne infantry battalion in the Pacific Theater. Task Force 1-501 deployed to Afghanistan from October 2003 through August 2004.
Enroll in the Right CNA Training Program near Fort Richardson AK
Deciding on the best certified nursing assistant school is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you pick a CNA college and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fort Richardson AK.
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