Nursing students learn the reality of being CNA’s Participating in clinicals at the Veterans Home, students are gaining firsthand experience in the healthcare field

Rehearsing the skills needed to do clinicals, senior Shinikee Garcia and Vincent Garcia check senior Michael Ennis’ pulse. Students began clinicals on Friday and will be learning the perks of being a CNA. “At first, I was nervous to go to clinicals because it’s very different interacting with a mannequin or a classmate you’ve known for a while compared to actual patients,” Garcia said. “However, when I got to the facility everyone was welcoming and the residents were really nice. The residents are all veterans who have been through a lot so it’s comforting to see a smile on their face while helping with daily activities like changing their bed.” Photo Credit: Cassandra Trummel

Utilizing the skills students have been practicing since the beginning of year, Nursing students recently attended the orientation at Nevada State Veterans Home to begin clinicals. Clinicals are a basic practice for students to be able to interact and go through skills they learned on mannequins with the residents of the facility to gain hours of experience. 

“The orientation was fun and honestly the facility isn’t so bad,” senior Jaymee Manarang said. “We walked in on the residents playing bingo and they seemed to love the fact that we were there. I love that they have birds and a small aquarium for the residents to look at.”

Students are sectioned in two groups based on their last name and go to the facility every other B day. Each nursing student has a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) supervising the skills students perform for the residents, such as changing the bedsheets.

“We had our actual first day at clinicals and throughout the day I got really excited to actually help the residents and physically interact with them,” senior Kylie Chavez said. “I was able to work with a patient diagnosed with dementia and it’s an eye-opening experience because you can learn all these things from textbooks but doing it is a completely different experience.”

Clinicals are set to last for five days, one including the orientation day giving them a total of 20 hours. Rather than working on mannequins, many students are grateful for the experience and prefer interacting with residents. 

“I began my first day of clinicals on Friday,” senior Jaclyn Jacala said. “At first, I was nervous but everyone was very welcoming and it was cool seeing how everything worked. Being able to interact with real patients makes me excited to continue my nursing journey and eventually work in this field.”

With this experience, students can gain a glimpse into the healthcare field and complete their certification before Winter Break.

“Although things are just beginning, it’s a mixed feeling of excitement and stress,” senior Aze Lopez said. “I’m still getting used to the facility itself, but from what I was able to go through, it seems pretty confusing. Overall, being able to meet these new people and learn new skills is making the experience worthwhile and getting a first hand experience is honestly very useful.”