Training program

Austin nursing home highlights CNA training program

AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) – Good Samaritan Society Comforcare Nursing Home in Austin is promoting its certified practical nurse training program to attract more applicants.

According to Comforcare, CNAs provide 90% of resident care in nursing homes. They are responsible for supporting residents in the acts of daily living.

“They help with hair brushing, brushing teeth, dressing residents, making the bed,” said Randy Huls, clinical learning and development specialist at Comforcare. “These are things that we sometimes take for granted. CNAs and nurses have a big impact on patients.

Huls is responsible for the school’s training program. He said what sets it apart from CNA programs in traditional schools is that the Good Samaritan pays for the training and students are paid an hourly wage while they learn. The Good Samaritan also pays for students to take the state exam.

The program includes 55 hours of online work and 24 hours of practical work.

“It’s really great because when you apply, you’re automatically registered,” he said. “What other places don’t have is that you can see firsthand what it’s like to work with residents.”

Huls said registrations were stable.

“Every week throughout the year, it’s non-stop,” he said. “We enroll people every week. It’s good to get new people to ride them. At the moment, I have eight in this center and ten in my other center.

Felicia Howie has been a CNA for ten years and has been with Comforcare for one year. She said she loved her residents. She said CNA needs to have compassion, patience and a good work ethic.

“It just takes a really strong person,” she said. “The first thing you need to do when you walk through the doors is to make sure you come in with a positive attitude. Make sure you come to work happy, because if you come to work in a bad mood, not only does that affect your day, but it also affects our residents.

Howie started the process of becoming a nurse and she says being a CNA has helped prepare her for the new journey.

“I’m pretty excited,” she said.

Ann O’Connor has been a resident of Comforcare for seven weeks while her leg injury heals. She worked in a retirement home as a cook for 27 years. She said residents need love and a compassionate person to help them.

She has developed a close relationship with her CNAs and nurses.

“They help me get up, they help me go to the bathroom, they help me get dressed,” she said. “They never argue with me, well, I never argue with them. They’re so good, they’re really, really caring.

According to Comforcare CNA’s online job listings, starting salaries for the position range from $14.65/hour to $20/hour, depending on the shift.

For more information, visit the Comfortcare website.

For more information on Minnesota statutes and standards for certified practical nurses, Click here.