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USU and Moab Regional Hospital partner to offer CNA programs

Posted on: Dec 26 2011

USU Moab News
USU and Moab Regional Hospital partner to offer CNA programs…
bySamantha Jacobson

Utah State University Moab (USU Moab), in partnership with Moab Regional Hospital (MRH), is offering a new and unique educational opportunity in Grand County. The two entities have combined resources to offer a certified nursing assistant (CNA) program. Other allied health and nursing programs are in the works.

The CNA course work is a 16-week program that teaches students the basic principles and procedures of patient care. The program “emphasizes growth and development though the life span, personal care, vital signs, communication, nutrition, medical asepsis, therapeutic activities, accident and fire safety, household environment and equipment management, family resources and services, and employment skills.”
Nicole Williamson, a current CNA student and health technician in the medical surgery area of the hospital, says the CNA program is “the best way you can start anything in the medical field because the medical field is so broad, and you can go anywhere if you know the basics.” She says that prior to doing the CNA program she didn’t know what her career path would be. After doing the CNA program and being in the field she is able to see that she would like to pursue a career in respiratory therapy. “I never would have known if not for the CNA program,” she says.

Williamson says that prior to doing this program she was forced to travel elsewhere to take classes. She is very pleased the program is now here. “It’s nice because you don’t have to leave your life in Moab to do the program and you can keep the money in Moab.” She also explains that it provides an opportunity for many people who don’t have the means to leave Moab to enroll in a CNA program.

Nancy Chartier, MSN, and the practical skills supervisor for nursing programs at MRH, adds that there are many different benefits of the CNA program. One of the biggest benefits of the program is “it stimulates students to want more. It also helps people to get excited about medicine, thus pushing them further into other studies of medicine,” she says.

Chartier also says that the CNA program ensures a high quality of work at Moab Regional Hospital. She says “without formal training you fall prey to what the predecessor deems important. However, with an education system, the credentials and training are guaranteed.”

Vicki Gigliotti, staff development director at MRH, believes that the partnership with USU Moab and MRH is a crucial aspect of the program. “This partnership is really important because the result is not only education and career, but will also be that our hospital will have a premier role in crafting excellence in patient care.”

Gigliotti explains that the program is a great opportunity for the community of Moab as a whole and the benefits are seen all the way from patient care to stimulating the local economy. “We’re excited that community members will have access to quality clinical experiences that will not only result in certification as a nursing assistant, but can also serve as a gateway to a career in nursing,” she says

Steve Hawks, associate dean at the USU Moab, says “having a university clinical teaching lab in the heart of a working regional hospital represents a rare opportunity. The clinical laboratory along with the CNA program is a very forward thinking strategy that we feel lucky to have. This kind of arrangement doesn’t exist elsewhere in rural Utah.”

Although this is only the second semester for this program to run the benefits are evident. Administrators at Utah State University Moab are eager to see the continued progress of this program, and are hopeful that more students will take advantage of this new opportunity.

For more information about the CNA program, or other allied health programs offered at Utah State University Moab, please contact Sam Sturman at 259-7432.
Samantha Jacobson is a new member of the USU Moab staff and works as an office assistant.

Read more:Moab Times-Independent - USU Moab News USU and Moab Regional Hospital partner to offer CNA programs…