CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION CLASSROOM HIGHLIGHT
Q&A with Suzie Kendell: A certified nursing assistant (CNA) classroom instructor at the Viewmont High School.
Question: What do you want parents and the community to know about your class?
Answer: I would like parents to know that this is a great opportunity for their students to be able to learn the skills to care for patients, whether they continue on in nursing, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, radiology, or pursue medical degrees in many of the other health care careers.
Question: Is the CNA course a prerequisite for future training and/or education?
Answer: Taking the CNA course is a requirement prior to participating in any medical internship in Davis District and is also a prerequisite for many of the college health care programs.
Question: What projects are your students working on?
Answer: Right now the students are learning about caring for the elderly, infection control and body mechanics. They are participating in labs where they are learning how it feels to be “elderly” by putting cotton in their ears, wearing glasses which cause blurred vision, using slings and wraps to limit mobility, and then walking around the school using walkers, canes and carrying oxygen. They are also learning to practice medical asepsis—a term used to mean free of contaminants that cause disease, like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites—with hand washing, putting on gloves, gowns and masks. They are also learning how to take Vital signs—blood pressure, pulse, respirations and temperature.
Question: How does your CNA class prepare students for life after high school—college and career?
Answer: This program allows the students to learn and practice their skills here in our classroom lab and then go out into the community and actually care for patients and residents in long term care facilities during their clinical rotation. They are then prepared and qualified to take the Utah State CNA exam—a written and skills test. Upon passing the test they are certified and can go out and get a job as a CNA. This class is the first step and the foundation for every health care career available today.
Question: What are your students saying about your CNA class?
- Blair said, “I am telling everyone to take this class!! It was awesome!”
- Katana said, “I already love this class. I’m excited to take care of real people.”
- Ashley said, “I just got a job as a CNA and I love it!”
- Victoria said, “Now that I have my CNA certification, I am applying for the nursing program at several colleges. This will really help my chances of being accepted.”
Registered nurses hold a variety of qualifying degrees. Approximately 18 percent hold a nursing diploma, 34 percent hold an associate degree, 34.2 percent have a bachelor’s degree, and 13 percent hold a master’s degree or doctorate.