Nurse Assistant/Home Health Aide program at American River College

September 10, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


I’m a people person already, so I love working
with people. The one thing that I found that is wonderful in this job, you’re a jack-of-all-trades.
Not only are you a caregiver, you’re a housekeeper, you’re a barista, you’re a gardner. You
make sure their environment is safe, you make sure they’re safe. You know, you get to
cover all these bases. I’m very social with the residents and I
like just talking with them. And it makes me happy to do something that I love to do. The basis of the CNA program is to teach the
student how to care for an elderly person who lives in a long-term care facility. So
they learn the normal aspects of aging, as well they learn then the conditions and diseases
for an older person. And then they learn all the activities of daily living. We’ve learned
a lot of things such as being safe, to having dignity, to having privacy and how to do that,
how to do effective communication with a patient or resident. It’s just such a variety that
we have learned in this class. Today, different from when we’re in the
classroom giving theory, now they’re taking that theory information and they’re applying
it to the skills lab. We have in this lab the perfect opportunity for them to practice
the skills to prepare them for the state exam. We started in the skills lab to do things such
as hand-washing. We also learned how to do nail care, foot care, range of motion. Other
stuff that we were doing was how to change a gown. If someone has an IV, what you would
do, which hand would you take out first. It’s really helpful to be in the skill lab because
then you see what you could be doing there, you’re going to be doing in the facility.
So we’re kinda like practicing on each other. The professor is very patient with me, and
she makes you feel really comfortable with answering your questions. If she thinks that
you’re uncomfortable with anything she’s going to stress that. In this skill area, she’s doing the modified
bed bath. Also they’ll be putting people on a bed pan and taking them off. They will
be getting them out of bed to the wheelchair, out of bed to ambulate. They’re going to
be doing some foot care and peri care. There’s 21 skills that they practice to get ready
for that state exam. So they’re nervous, but as long as they’ve memorized the skills
and they come in here to practice, they do very, very well. After a while it’s just such an instinct
that you already know what to do and how to do it. And especially with those skill labs,
they help you out and you already have your mindset and what you’re going to be doing. My plans are originally to do hospice, but
working at the care home, I like it a lot. I like the residents and the people that also
work there. So I’m going to apply as soon as I get finished with my state testing. Some of the home care places will hire them
as a CNA. They can work in long-term. They can work in acute care hospitals. But the
majority of them will get positions in long-term care. The first part is lecture and you go in a
classroom. The second part is when you go to clinicals, so you go to a certain type
of care home. So we go out to the residents’ care home then where they have one resident.
And they do all the things on that one person that we’ve learned in the skill lab. Towards
the end then, they are assigned an entire section, which could be up to 9 residents
with other students and with the CNA. Doing the clinicals, which really opened my
eyes. It shows me that it is actually doable, and you can do it. And so I’m definitely
ready to take that next step and go and work.