New CNA’s graduate at PDCCC

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2003

The 18 women Suffolk women who recently graduated with a &uot;Certified Nurse Aide&uot; degree from Paul D. Camp Community College are now providing health care services to others, and in some instances have made plans to continue their education in the field of medicine.

PDCCC’s Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Program is offered in cooperation with Obici Hospital. This career studies certificate program prepares students to take the licensing exam required by Virginia to qualify as a nurse’s aide.

Barbara Chapman, instructor for the Hobbs Suffolk class, which was held at Obici Hospital, said PDCCC is pleased with the success of its CNA program and the graduates who were recently certified.

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&uot;We are proud of these 18 ladies who have completed 128 hours of instruction,&uot; said Chapman. &uot;Classroom instruction totaled 72-hours and the students participated in 56 clinical hours performed at Obici Hospital and Nansemond Pointe Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. They have been diligent in their pursuit of learning how to meet the physical, psycho-social, and spiritual needs of the patient. We have seen them become compassionate, self-assured care givers who take pride in delivering safe, competent patient care.&uot;

The nursing assistants took part in a ceremony they shared with students from the Franklin Campus of PDCCC, with the ceremony held at the Workforce Training Center at the college’s Franklin location.

This is the first of many such ceremonies to take place at the center that was developed to provide support in economic development. The center offers a variety of training, education, and workforce services to meet the needs of new and existing employers in the region.

Now that their instruction is completed, many of the graduates from Suffolk will be seeking employment in healthcare. Newly certified, they were excited and many have made decisions to further their career in the healthcare industry.

Joni Lynn Allen, a graduate of Gates County High School, said she found the CNA program to be challenging and an experience that has led her to make a life decision she’d been putting off.

&uot;I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated high school,&uot; said the 20-year-old Allen. &uot;Some of my friends went off to college but I wasn’t ready to make the commitment for another four years. I thought about nursing, but wasn’t really that enthused about it until I learned about the CNA course at Paul D. Camp. That course was so challenging and interesting… it has enabled me to make the decision to become involved in the medical field. I truly think I want to become a physical therapist and PDCCC has started me in the right direction.&uot;

Another CNA grad, Francine Joseph, said she chose PDCCC because the location is convenient and the admissions office personnel were helpful in filling out forms and applications for grants. She added that she was offered a variety of course studies but chose the CNA.

&uot;Scheduling was a problem with other courses, but the CNA fit perfectly in with my schedule,&uot; said Joseph. &uot;I volunteer at my son’s school and he enjoys my participation in his school activities and I serve on the PTA board. Staying involved with Keyshaun is extremely important to me and also to him. I believe a mother’s first priority must be to her children. That’s why I truly enjoyed my CNA training with PDCCC because they worked with me. Now that I have my training, I intend to further pursue additional nursing training to develop and enhance my skills. I am currently looking for a position and hope to be employed by the end of the month. I will be fully certified and ready to go!&uot;

Maggie Evans, the associate professor of physical education and faculty advisor for the Nurse Aid program, said the CNA program has truly been successful over the past two years.

&uot;We have increased enrollment from about 7 students to 38,&uot; said Evans. &uot;Also, adding Obici as a partner was a big part of our success. They are providing the faculty in our Suffolk location, and most importantly, they are hiring our students. The Franklin program is also successful and the job market is good here in area nursing homes. We are sharing facilities with the registered nurse program and have access to a much better teaching classroom. This summer, for the first time, we will be offering a daytime class in Franklin. It will be a shorter, 10-week format.&uot;

Evans added that PDCCC is also looking forward to expanding into the Windsor/Smithfield area and offer classes at the Smithfield campus. They are also offering new courses in phlebotomy and medication administration, with the additional skills enabling the nurse aid to become an even more valuable candidate for employment.

The Division of Student services shares three main expectations in carrying out its mission. The first expectation pertains to access and entry services. Student services continually identify and reduce barriers encountered by students in meeting their educational goals. Areas examined include recruitment, admissions, financial aid, veteran’s benefits, international affairs, academic placement testing, and advising.

The second expectation focuses on providing a high-quality learning environment (directly or indirectly) through support services. These services include counseling, career planning/exploration, co-curricular activities, student support services, tutoring, and student development courses/workshops.

The final expectation pertains to transition services or student outcomes. These services focus on assisting student/graduates to transfer successfully or to compete successfully for employment. This includes providing academic and financial aid transcripts to students and other agencies, as well as assisting in job placement.

For details on education at PDCCC, call the Suffolk campus at 925-6300, the Franklin Campus at 569-6700, or the Smithfield Center at 925-6340.