From December through February, we teach three groups of eight students managed by an instructor. They work with patients hands-on, helping them with daily living activities like feeding or bathing. When interacting with a frail, elderly patient population, students may encounter people with memory loss issues and become versed in verbal and non-verbal communication.
The need for caregivers who have experience dealing with patients with dementia or cognitive impairment is vital. Students develop skills that are foundational for all careers in nursing. These range from basic nursing procedures to dosage calculation, basic intravenous therapy, principles of pharmacology, and physical assessment.
I am continually impressed by the level of training exhibited by CVCC students. Before they come to us, they have already studied anatomy, physiology, and life science in the classroom. I find that they are well prepared and committed.
Not surprisingly, these students make excellent employees as well. This year I hired eight CVCC candidates. Many of them enjoy working as STNAs (state-tested nursing assistants) while they pursue further nursing programs to become LPNs (licensed practical nurses) or RNs (registered nurses).
One of the nicest components of the clinical program is that it gives students the opportunity to discover if a nursing career is a good fit for them early on in the process. Some people go through nursing school only to find out they are not cut out for this demanding field.
Students also get a head start on many of the baccalaureate programs - such as those offered by Kent State University and The Ohio State University - that require incoming students to have their STNA certifications. Colleges want to make sure that candidates are comfortable with the nursing role on a clinical level before taking their training to the next level.
This program is close to my heart, as I worked in high school as a nursing assistant in a long-term health care facility, then went into nursing school at OSU, graduating in 1977.
By Janet Cinadr
Director of Nursing
Regina Health Center
Article posted on mimivanderhaven.com