CNA program provides students with experience helping others


The CNA program teaches students how to work hands-on with patients before the students begin helping people in clinical settings.

Sabina Massiah, Staff Writer

During her clinical experience with the CNA program, Danai Nixon has created an amazing bond with one of the patients. As she was shaving one of the residents, he reminded her of her dad.

“He just ended up telling me that [my] dad would’ve been very proud of [me], and it was such a simple statement, it made me very happy,” Nixon said. “It made me feel like the journey that I was going on to becoming a CNA and to becoming a doctor was the right choice for me.”

Being in the program trains students to be Certified Nurse Aides. It requires students to actively take part in helping the patients and from there, they can build relationships with the patients and have a better grasp of a hands-on learning situation in the hospital setting. 

Fellow Senior Nikiyah Wolf also built a memorable relationship with one of the residents.

“It was this lady who was 102 and she was so nice and so sweet,” Wolf said. “She told me all about her birthday and all about what she’s going through and told me about her favorite food and where she likes to go.” 

The students undergo extensive training in the school, they work with multiple items or objects in the classroom to feel more comfortable with the procedures that they are going to apply out in the real world. With these procedures, the students demonstrate their skills by performing different tasks around the classroom. 

“We would always have to take care of these model figures or dolls in the classroom, and they’re set up in beds,” Nixon said. “They’ll just pull out random [procedures] for us to do during the class, whether it’s putting on the masks or if it’s taking care of a resident who just had a seizure or transferring to a wheelchair.” 

These tasks completed by the students will further help to prepare them for when they leave the school to go help in another setting. 

“They learn the basic skills of being a healthcare professional as far as bathing, cleaning, brushing their teeth, a lot of the things that we take for granted, that we are able to do,” RN and CNA teacher Mrs. Angelique Todd said. 

Along with the healthcare essentials, the interns also get personal interaction with their residents. 

“So usually [the] first thing I do when I get there after we check in, I have to check on a couple residents, they usually make us change them after we check them to make sure they’re not wet or anything, see if they have to shower,” Nixon said. “Usually for the male residents, I have to shave their faces and stuff, that’s pretty much what I do on a daily day and then if all of that’s done, we get to go and play bingo with the residents or we get to do nail care with the residents, that’s really fun too because it gives me more time to talk with them and engage with them.” 

The students master the skills of tending to the residents in the hospital and lending a hand if needed. As the students move on from the program, they are now adapted to the working conditions and can carry it onto any career that they want to take on.
“Essentially anything you do in healthcare, you are taking care of people, so you have to have a heart for people and you have to be able to understand the foundation of what it is that makes a person who they are,” RN and CNA teacher Mrs. Brandi Knocke said.
The benefits of potentially being a CNA is that individuals who get into the program have the ability to step out and to become more familiar with the tasks of helping others.
“I’ve just learned a lot about becoming a CNA, like just nursing in general and how to take care of people in ways that I didn’t know before on how to talk to people, in ways that I didn’t know before,” Nixon said. “I think they taught me how to open up a lot more with people.
“I was so afraid of trying new things before I got into this class, but I think that the CNA class is so versatile and there’s something new every day, so I had to get used to picking up on people.”
With being a CNA, the students are participating in activities that involve taking care of others, which can mean that this is what the students may have a passion for carrying out in this class.
“I feel like anyone can essentially teach out of a book,” Mrs. Knocke said. “I think what makes our program special is that we are able to bring that real world field experience into the classroom and give them stories to relate the content that we’re trying to deliver to them.”