Success Stories

A High School Student Becoming A Nurse Aide

How common is it to hear that a sixteen to eighteen year old student, still in high school, is becoming a certified nursing assistant? It is happening for many students at Central Campus taking the Nurse Aide Program. My instructor teaches three levels of Nurse Aide courses.

First is the basic nurse aide program. It is a course that offers skills in a clinical nursing home setting. Students study and practice skills such as personal hygiene (feeding, dressing residents, and brushing hair/teeth), bed making, taking vitals, social skills and many other skills to take care of elderly/impaired. Students this year went to Valley View Village Nursing Home during the fall and spring semesters. Students experienced the one-on-one interaction with the residents and formed bonds with them to make the nursing home environment more comfortable for not only the residents, but the staff as well.

Secondly is the advanced nurse aide program. It is a course that offers skills in a clinical hospital setting in addition to the nursing home setting. Students in this class learn advanced skills that are more on track for the hospital setting, such as administering enemas, emptying catheters, admitting/discharging patients and staple removal. Students are currently finishing their clinical experiences at Iowa Methodist Medical Center; IMMC is part of Unity Point Health. Students, during the clinical portion of the class are working independently with patients, with the assistance of a staff Patient Care Tech (PCT) of IMMC.

Third is the nurse aide specialist program. It is a course that offers skills in both a nursing home setting and a hospital setting. Students learn both the basic and the advanced part of nurse aide. Students taking this class receive both levels of nurse aide training, and in addition they also incorporate the Language of Medicine, which is the study of medical terms and how they are broken down. The students also get to learn the history of health care, explore different careers and investigate the laws that are in the health care setting in Survey and Intro to Health Careers. All students in this program receive American Heart Association BLS training and become Health Care Provider CPR certified.

All of the programs listed here offer high school and college credit. My name is Jaynah Wright and I am a student in the Nurse Aide Specialist class and I enjoy every moment I spend out in the field at clinical. I started this class last fall, because my grandmother was an emergency room nurse years ago, I wanted to follow in her footsteps. I am so thankful for getting the opportunity to take this class and become a CNA all while in high school! I was able to take my state certification test after first semester and I became certified in January! I would definitely recommend anybody interested in a health career to take this class, or even if you just want to see/experience what it is like to work in the medical field. I have a ton of positive things to say about the program and many tips to give to students interested in the program. Manage your time well for studying and practicing skills. That is a huge thing to remember. These classes are college level, so they require some studying and deeper research. It is more than just about what you learn in class. You have to stay dedicated and determined to do your absolute best, and if you can do all those things, you will be golden!

Jaynah Wright

Hoover Senior ‘13

Jaynah is now attending Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, majoring in Nursing.