How to Pick a CNA School near Fort Wainwright 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 Fort Wainwright AK. As soon as you have attained your certification, you will begin a fulfilling career in one of the fastest growing occupations in medical care within the United States. Though it might seem like a daunting undertaking, it’s imperative that you pick the right program to obtain the necessary training and education. A number of potential students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. You may additionally be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More about that option later. But doing your due diligence before choosing a school entails far more than comparing the cost or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into consideration. We will be covering those topics together with several other questions that you should be asking before you register in a CNA school. But to begin with, let’s discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of instruction and credentials that are offered.
The Role of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many tasks in the Fort Wainwright AK hospitals, practices and other medical facilities where they are employed. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they work under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their primary job role is to help the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and diverse, and in a hospital setting might include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Taking patient’s vital signs
- Keeping a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and aiding patients with meals
- Transporting patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Fort Wainwright AK nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those settings, nursing assistants are more engaged in aiding patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are identified as routine activities that the majority of people perform daily without assistance, including eating, dressing, or using the washroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they commonly reside in the facilities for extended time frames. Frequently, they may become the channel between the patient and the balance of the medical staff due to their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s knowledge can be a significant resource for planning the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at community colleges or at Fort Wainwright 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to 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 prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact 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 can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Programs
Enrolling in CNA classes online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and earn a certificate or diploma in Fort Wainwright AK. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe 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 determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many CNA schools and colleges throughout Alaska and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education and employment in the Fort Wainwright AK area, it may assist in acquiring 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum certification standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alaska school certification or licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fort Wainwright 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative 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 Wainwright 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 certain 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 Fort Wainwright AK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in CNA Classes Near Fort Wainwright Alaska?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Fort Wainwright AK area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Fort Wainwright is a United States Army post in Fairbanks, a city in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and the coterminous Fairbanks Metropolitan Statistical Area. Since 1978 Fort Wainwright has been investigating and cleaning up soil and water contamination from a landfill and drum burial site, fuel terminal, coal storage yard/fire training pits, open detonation area and underground storage tanks. It was Superfund-listed in 1990.
What is now Fort Wainwright was first established in 1939 by the U.S. Army Air Corps as Ladd Field. In 1947 it was transferred to the newly established U.S. Air Force and renamed Ladd Air Force Base, serving as a cold weather station to test aircraft under arctic conditions. In 1961 it was transferred to the Army and redesignated Fort Wainwright in honor of World War II general Jonathan Wainwright. From 1963 to 1972 it was home to the 171st Infantry Brigade, mechanized until 1969, then light. During that time, the 172nd Infantry Brigade was at Fort Richardson, in Anchorage. From 1986 to 1998 Fort Wainwright was the home of the 6th Infantry Division (Light), and served as the division's headquarters from 1990 to 1994. From 1998 to 2006, it was home to the 172nd Infantry Brigade, which was reorganized in 2003 as the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), part of the U.S. Army's transition program to include six SBCTs. In 2006, the 172nd was re-flagged as the 1st brigade of the 25th Infantry Division.
Fort Wainwright was also the home of Task Force 49, an aviation brigade that provides logistical air support for U.S. Army Alaska, Bassett Army Community Hospital and the Bureau of Land Management's Alaska Fire Service which later transformed to become a part of 16th Combat Aviation Brigade with headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington in 2010 with duty in Alaska.
Pick the Right CNA Training near Fort Wainwright AK
Picking the right certified nursing assistant training program is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a CNA in Fort Wainwright AK.
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