Four students are volunteering at Ivy Hall Nursing home this semester earning clinical hours towards their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), a national industry certification. Seth Buckles, Jada Olds, Keaton Shingleton, and Alyson Roberts are in the new Nursing Education course at Elizabethton High School.
The two Health Science courses at EHS that offer real-world experience in the community are Clinical Internship and Nursing Education, and both are also classified as Work-Based Learning. The biggest contrast in these courses is that in Nursing Education, student learning is hands-on. For senior Keaton Shingleton, in-the-field experience has made all the difference. She said it has brought classroom concepts to life and solidified her career plans.
“It’s really been life changing,” she said. “From being here, I know this is what I want to do. In the classroom it was terminology, but here it’s people – and I’m a people lover. I like to talk to them and help them, and their appreciation puts everything into perspective. I know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
EHS Health Science Instructor and Registered Nurse Katie Dugger worked in partnership with Ivy Hall Administrator Judy Deloach to revive this program after years of dormancy. Because her experience is in the hospital setting, rather than the nursing home setting, she and Deloach had to make a special arrangement with the state for an Ivy Hall nurse to sign on as students’ supervisor, per course requirements.
Nursing Education is a capstone course in the Health Science Program of Study at EHS. Students in the course are required to complete 60 hours of classroom and lab experience as well as 40 clinical hours. At the completion of these hours, they’re eligible to take the national CNA certification exam. After successfully passing the exam, students will be CNAs and can gain employment in numerous medical facilities earning a minimum of $12.50 per hour.
Both Dugger and Deloach said working as a CNA provides them with valuable experience for any career in medicine. “It will also be adventitious to them as they apply for competitive programs at the postsecondary level,” Dugger said. “I’m extremely proud of these students, their dedication, and their drive to seek out opportunity,”
Deloach said the program is a benefit to students, but also to Ivy Hall patients. ““Our residents love young people, and this gives students a chance to develop those personal relationships,
she said. “No matter where they go in the medical field, this will help them – it’s the best stepping stone I know of.”