New health classes at PHS provide more resources

Sophie Czirr

More stories from Sophie Czirr

April 11, 2024

Photo Courtesy of Sophie Czir

Students from the CNA course practice CPR, as seen with junior Maya Landwehr performing the procedure on a test baby.

The certified nursing assistant course has been available for students to pursue at the Powell valley hospital. This year the option of taking this course at the high school has been provided and will be guided by health teacher Mrs. Kandi Bennett. 

“I’m super excited,” health teacher Mrs. Bennett said. “We have a nice partnership with Dr. Crawford, and we’ve got some really fantastic students that are passionate and I think they’re going to do a great job. They’re great, kind, caring people, and they are exactly what healthcare needs.” 

In some cases students may already have positions in healthcare. They view the provided CNA course as a good way to gain a better understanding of the field and improve in their current position. As the class continues, they want to put their old and new knowledge to the test and get to work. 

“I work at the care center,” senior Maddie Hedges said. “I already know a lot of stuff. I just want to actually get into it. I’m really excited to help the residents more because I feel like I don’t do as much as I should and I want to do more.” 

Enrolling into the CNA course is considered to be a beneficial way to start in the healthcare field early on before advancing to a new career. 

“I am excited to gain more experience in the healthcare field,” Northwest College student Kaydee Black said. “I’m working towards becoming a nurse, but a CNA is a great start.” 

The students will receive their certification from this course but they will gain skills and exposure to the medical field as well. Starting as a CNA opens several more opportunities that they can embark on in their future. 

“We want skills that are applicable to the workforce,” Bennett said. “That is why we want these students in this pathway, so they get their licenses and get to work.” 

Some students are working as CNAs currently and have gained a lot of experience from their current job. 

“I have gained maturity and patience from this job,” senior Shelby Fagan said. “When I first started out as a CNA, I had no idea what kind of serious situations I would come across. From losing a patient to being slammed into the wall, you learn awfully quickly how much it takes to be a CNA.” 

“We want skills that are applicable to the workforce. That is why we want these students in this pathway, so they get their licenses and get to work.

— PHS Health Teacher Mrs. Kandi Bennett

Since the pandemic, the need for all healthcare workers has increased, including CNAs. This class will certify many more students, providing more work for the healthcare industry. 

“There is a shortage of CNAs,” Mrs. Bennett said. “The students that were taking this class weren’t taking their test, therefore they weren’t becoming CNAs.” 

Some CNA workers appreciate the exposure to the medical field. By completing this class, more students will have the opportunity to participate in some of these extraordinary experiences. 

“I’ve been a CNA since 2021, and I love it,” Fagan said. “I enjoy spending time with elderly people because they are so wise and have fun stories they will tell. Being a CNA, means you’re literally taking care of these people all day and giving them a better quality of life.”