How to Pick a CNA School near Fairbanks 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 Fairbanks AK. Once you have obtained your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the United States. Though it might seem like a challenging task, it’s important that you pick the right course to obtain the necessary training and education. Many prospective students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the cost 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 on that option later. But performing your due diligence before picking a program requires much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those topics along with various other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let’s discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Function of a CNA
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Fairbanks AK hospitals, practices and other health facilities where they work. Per their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but instead are certified. Because they are not licensed, they perform under the guidance and management of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their main job duty is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are many and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Administering basic services to patients
- Taking patient’s vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient’s health status
- Bathing and dressing patients
- Serving and helping patients with meals
- Moving patients to other areas
CNAs might also practice in Fairbanks 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 help, for example eating, dressing, or using the bathroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these patients since they usually remain in the facilities for extensive periods of time. Often, they can end up being the conduit between the patient and the balance of the medical staff because of their familiarity with their charges. Consequently, the CNA’s expertise can be an useful resource for preparing the appropriate care and treatment of long term care patients.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at community colleges or at Fairbanks AK vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Training
Attending CNA schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and attain 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 remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online CNA programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online CNA school will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and 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 undoubtedly realize, there are many CNA schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things 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 see how your selection 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education and employment in the Fairbanks AK area, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs vary from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum certification requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, 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 Fairbanks 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Fairbanks AK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for certification too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local Fairbanks AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in CNA Classes Near Fairbanks Alaska?
If you have decided to enroll in a CNA Training Program in the Fairbanks AK area, the following article may provide some interesting and useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 100,605, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
Though there was never a permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old. From evidence gathered at the site, archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing. In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back 10,000 years. Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the land bridge.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.
Choose the Right CNA Course near Fairbanks AK
Selecting the ideal certified nursing assistant degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 certified nursing assistant in Fairbanks AK.
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