Nurse Aide students pictured: (front row left to right) Amber Rodgers, Cassity Humes, Sydney Dodson, Diana Tepetate and Allie Mooney. (back row left to right) Emily James, Braelynn Echelbarger, Lexus White and Fancie Boatright.
The following article was submitted by the Cullman County Board of Education's Dr. TJ Franey and is being run in its entirety.
CULLMAN – The Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA) Health Science program provides high school students with essential knowledge and skills for pursuing careers in many healthcare occupations. Rigorous and challenging content includes a variety of instructional strategies, work-based learning experiences, simulation, and on-site clinical rotations. We incorporate and enforce employability skills that will assist them through their professional and personal lives. Our curriculum and teaching strategies focus on how to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
This 2016-2017 school year has been our best year yet. It has been packed full of exciting simulation and clinical experiences that the students will take with them into their future.
First, we would like to congratulate the senior students of the Nurse Aide program. The nurse aide program involves classwork, resident care skills, nursing home clinical rotations followed by both a standardized test and a skills competency test. These students completed approximately 55 hours of hands-on clinical training at Hanceville Nursing & Rehab Center. This year was our largest class to date with 17 students. We would like to congratulate ALL 17 students on successfully passing all of the required tests for certification.
On average a CNA in Alabama can expect to receive $18,720 to $22,880 per year. The average starting hourly rate for a CNA locally is $9.50 per hour. CNAs have many options for employment. Areas of employment can include the nursing home, hospital, and home health. Graduates of the Nurse Aide program may choose to work as a CNA while pursuing a college degree in health care, while others may choose to work until they are certain which health care field they would like to pursue. With this certification, our students have several options available to them upon graduation. This certification will also help them when applying for health care fields such as Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, etc…as they will have more experience and credentials to add to their resume'/applications. For this reason, we proudly recognize that our Nurse Aide program graduates are both college and career ready!
The CATA Health Science second-year junior students had the opportunity to participate in the Career Observation Clinical Day at Cullman Regional. They were able to experience patient care at its best! They floated to all areas of the hospital to watch direct patient care and gain valuable exposure into their chosen healthcare career. The students enjoyed meeting and collaborating with professional healthcare employees and because of this experience, a few students have made final decisions concerning their professional future.
All second-year juniors were educated on how to interpret a basic electrocardiogram (ECG) and the art of phlebotomy. ECGs are used to evaluate the electrical activity of the heart and to detect any heart issues. These students have studied and mastered introductory level ECG interpretation like true healthcare professionals. As the student’s curriculum, they were introduced to phlebotomy which is the practice of drawing blood and preparing the blood for testing. The students learned the equipment needed, possible complications, and the steps of the venipuncture procedure. To assess the skills they learned, they then simulated the process on a simulated venipuncture arm.
Health Science sophomore students were exposed to many different types of healthcare careers, introduced to medical terminology and studied human anatomy along with disease processes. We are looking forward to their return next academic school year.
In addition to the mentioned training and curriculum, both seniors and sophomores are Healthcare Provider Basic Life Support (BLS) certified. This certification will assist seniors with job placement and prepare the sophomores for future clinical rotations.
Our student organization, HOSA: Future Health Care Providers, is a program of motivation, awareness, and recognition, which is an integral part of the Health Science Education instructional program. HOSA officers for the 2016-2017 school year were: Olivia Payne, Haleigh Styles, Breann Carroll, Cedie Needham, Ariel Mann, Jackson Sikes, Maggie Miasek, Shelbie Allbritten, Cheyenne Harper, Emily James, Allie Mooney and Breanna Allen.
In February 2017, at the Alabama HOSA State Leadership Conference, our program had 16 students that qualified for the state competition held in Montgomery. One CATA CPR team placed in the top four out of 100 teams. All qualified students represented CATA extremely well and gained a memorable experience.
In addition to competing, our HOSA members volunteered through various community organizations this year. Regularly our students were asked to assist the faculty and students of the Cullman County Child Development Center with activities and field trips. Members had the opportunity to complete over fifty hours of community service through HOSA this school year. While enrolled in the health science program, students must possess a strong sense of service which we hope will follow them throughout their personal and professional life.
As we near the end the 2016-2017 school year, we are humbled and thankful for our exceptional students, support from local business and industry, members of our advisory board and CCBOE that ensured another successful school year.
"Our Health Science program is awesome. Mrs. Tracy Smith and Mrs. Adriann Basch are dedicated nurses who have "switched gears" so to speak, and our students are reaping the benefits. I am extremely proud of our students and how they have represented themselves and our school during clinicals this year, and I can't brag enough on the 17 students who earned their CNA certifications before graduation. This program is an example of community service, student leadership, and student success. " ~ William Troutman, CATA principal