Q: What training did you have to go through to become a CNA?
A: I had to had to take Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Terminology first to be in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program. I already took Anatomy and Physiology twice. I took it in Hammond, which was easy. In order for you to be in the program, that’s Health Careers II, you have to pass Health Careers I, which is Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Terminology
Q: Has the Career Center prepared you well? If yes, how? If no, why not?
A: Yes, it prepared me really well because the practices we do in class really helped me in doing it in real life at the Symphony of Dyer. You have your own resident you take care of so it helped me a lot to go over the Resident Care Plan (RCP) practices in Hammond and putting them in real life situations. There are over 70 RCPs we need to memorize in order to pass our state test, which is in May.
Q: How did you balance training to become a CNA and keeping up with school?
A: It’s not that hard to be honest. It’s pretty simple because the CNA program is common sense to me. Since I’m only taking four classes, it’s not that hard for me to balance being a CNA and school at the same time.
Q: What do you plan on doing for your future since you’re a CNA at such a young age?
A: CNA is my first step in becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) or Neonatal Nurse, so it helped me a lot. Not only that, but in the future for my parents when they get old, I can take what I learned from being a CNA and use it to help with your grandparents and parents getting old.
Q: What are you able to do with being a CNA?
A: You take care of a resident who is independent. You assist them in eating, getting dressed and so much more. There are so many things you can do to help them get better, but you just help them get back to base one basically. You also encourage them to do their activities of daily living.
Q: Explain what you need to do during your clinicals.
A: During clinicals, we are [at the Symphony of Dyer] for only two hours, but recently, we had an eight hour clinical. That was fun for me because I got to step into the shoes of real life CNAs and what they do every single day. There’s so many things you get to do with the resident, but what you tested out in Hammond, you can do that in clinicals. What you didn’t test out in Hammond, you can’t do in clinicals. I’m almost halfway done with the RCPs I have to test out. So I can make an unoccupied bed, occupied bed, assist residents to physical therapy, to the bathroom and just simple activities of daily living. You take their vital signs, too. When I go there, I just usually ask the CNAs if there is anything that they need help with to get their work done easily. Sometimes it’s a slow day where you don’t get anything assigned, so you can at least hang out with the residents in the dining area and assist them to eat their breakfast.
Q: How difficult is it being a CNA?
A: It’s not really that hard. I enjoy talking to elderly people. I enjoy helping them. Being in this class, I absolutely love it. They’re just adorable and elderly people just need the help. It’s a fun class for me, especially doing clinicals at the Symphony of Dyer. It’s really a good experience.
Q: What has been your favorite memory of being a CNA so far?
A: The eight hour clinical was actually my favorite memory so far because I get to experience being there for such a long time. I get to experience being in the CNAs’ shoes and see what they’re doing wrong or right. I like hearing the residents’ feedback too, they love to talk so I love that part too.
Q: What have you learned from becoming a CNA?
A: Being patient with the residents. Don’t rush them. Be there for them. Encourage them. I’m usually very impatient, so this has helped me become more patient.
Q: What are you looking forward to in continuing your career as a CNA?
A: I’m looking forward to get my license. Like I said, this is my first step in becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). I would like to work as a CNA starting next year. We have to reach 80 hours of clinicals to get our license in May.