Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) is celebrating its Nurse Assistant program as students begin their clinical placements required for them to sit for their Virginia State Board of Nursing credentialing. Students are spending 40 hours performing hands-on patient care at Commonwealth Senior Living Charlottesville. This year, 26 students, under the direction of Nurse Assistant Instructor Sarah Manglicmot, are experiencing firsthand the duties of a licensed CNA.
Manglicmot says the 2020-2021 school year has been challenging because “students have had a limited number of times in the classroom, which makes learning hands-on skills more difficult, but students have worked hard and are prepared to work with patients.” She emphasizes the Nurse Assistant program is very thankful that Commonwealth Senior Living has invited them to do their clinical experiences in their facility considering many clinical sites have not permitted students to visit their sites because of COVID precautions. In June, CNA students will take their Virginia Board of Nursing Nurse Assistant examination.
CATEC’s Nurse Assistant program is part of the school’s Health and Medical Services Academy. In this program, students develop skills for entry into the rewarding career of nursing. Certified Nurse Aides provide patient care under the direction of nursing staff. In Virginia, this high-demand field projects a 28% job growth as our population ages and health-related concerns remain high.
Manglicmot says “I am very proud of our students. During a difficult year, they have worked hard, both independently from home and in the classroom. They are enthusiastic about providing care and I am looking forward to seeing their new skills in action at clinicals.” This year, students have learned technical knowledge about infection control, the body systems and its disorders, bed making and adjusting, positioning, measuring and recording vital signs, and assisting with patient personal care. Students also learn soft skills that ensure patients receive dignified care. This training includes scope of practice, care and security of patients’ personal affects, patients’ rights, diversity and culture sensitivity training, maintaining a safe environment, and assisting with nutrition.
CATEC Nurse Assistant students receive 11 college credits through CATEC’s dual-enrollment partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College. Dual-enrolled students receive credit in coursework that includes healthcare technician I and II, nutrition, introduction to medical terminology, and CPR and First Aid certification. Students pay nothing to earn college credit when attending CATEC.
CATEC’s Adult Education program offers, on average, three Nurse Assistant classes per semester as well summer sessions. Throughout COVID-19, students have been able to practice their hands-on skills in clinical settings. Additionally, the Adult Education program has begun offering Emergency Medical Technician and Medication Aide courses.
CATEC is a regional technical education center that helps high school students and adults obtain the jobs they seek. Students have opportunities to practice hands-on and work-based learning activities alongside academically-driven curricula. CATEC prides itself on its built-in value, equity-based programs, and contribution to students' learning journeys.