In order to be eligible to take a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) exam at the end of the school year, Nursing seniors are attending clinicals at Nevada State Veterans Home to gain knowledge for the test and hands on experience with real patients.
“The first couple of days were nerve wracking, to say the least,” senior Sara Rounaque said. “To know that another person’s well-being is in your hands is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly. I think I speak for most of us when I say we were a little scared.”
At the end of the year, seniors in the program are given the option to sign up for the CNA test. This will assess the knowledge students learned their junior and senior years, as well as patient interaction. Nursing students need to complete clinicals (20 hours of experience) in order to take the test.
“One thing I learned is that your job is to not only provide these patients with the basic care that they need, but also make connections with them,” senior Bailey Redmond said. “Many of these patients don’t get to see their family or don’t get to interact with or talk to others very often, therefore it’s important to respect them and be sympathetic towards their situation.”
While at the veteran home, students were assigned to take care of the basic needs of patients. For example, an average day at clinicals can include cleaning bed sheets, feeding and showering patients.
“Although some patients weren’t the nicest, my favorite part about clinicals was being able to talk to the patients,” senior Janeen Soria said. “A majority of them were veterans and had many stories about their service.”
Hartwich believes that going to clinicals will introduce students to their future career choice as well as expose them to what it is like working with a real patient rather than a mannequin.
“There is a paramount of reasons why it is important for the seniors to go to clinicals,” Nursing teacher Mrs. Sara Hartwich said. “Going to clinicals allows seniors to get read for the CNA test and if the students pass this test, they will be a high school graduate who can get a job in the medical field.”