CNA takes a trip into the field

Class experience gives students medical practice


Owen McColgan

Junior Victoria Taylor and senior Amina Mohamed practice with a mannequin Jan. 23. Students work hands-on to prepare for the CNA certification test.

Abby Meisler

Students in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class took a trip to a local nursing home for a real world nursing experience Jan. 18 and 19. One of the requirements for becoming a CNA is having clinical experience outside of the classroom. Allison Luskey, who teaches the class, said she was looking forward to providing the students with a direct encounter to the medical field.

“It provided real life experience with real patients and real people and so it allowed them to get that fuller experience. These are real people with real lives who need our help and our care but also like our compassion and our empathy too so being able to see that and get the hands-on experience of what it really is like on the job,” Luskey said.

Senior Alana Weiser said she was nervous going into the trip as she wasn’t sure what to expect. As it turned out, she got a firsthand experience with these real situations.

“I didn’t really know what to expect and I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure that I would be prepared … it was interesting to see all the things we’ve learned in class being done in a real world situation,” Weiser said.

Although the trip was required for the course, Luskey said she was so grateful to be able to provide this clinical opportunity for her students.

“It is truly an honor to teach the class because what I get to see every day and what I think I especially saw from my students during that clinical experience, especially is their empathy and their compassion,” Luskey said. “You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you don’t have the empathy and the compassion to care for another person, you’re not going to do well.”

Senior Saynab Mohamud said she got a better perspective and understanding of how nursing homes function.

“It was eye opening. It was different, not what I expected and it was just not the same as in class,” Mohomad said. “These nursing homes are in people’s homes and that like it should be respected. It’s just a job for some people, but for the patients it is their everyday life.”

In addition, Luskey said she wants her students to see that a career as a CNA is not the only option for students interested in pursuing a medical career.

“We met many nursing assistants, but we also met social workers and RN’s and LPN’s. and administrators, and the director of nursing, it also is important for students to see that the nursing assistant role isn’t the end all be all,” Luskey said.

Mohamud said she was captivated by the skillful impacts the CNA class reflected in the field.

“We were talking a lot about how in nursing school you can tell the difference between people who did take the CNA course and we did that because they were more prepared and they knew more,” Mohamud said.

Overall, Luskey said she was happy with how her students handled this trip and is looking forward to seeing what her students are capable of.

“At the end of the day, we have to have the skills and also the heart for it, and I’m just so proud of my students-I could not be more proud,” Luskey said.