A local nursing program has recently added a couple of training stations thanks to a donation from an area medical hospital.
Aspirus Ontonagon donated three hospital beds to Gogebic Ontonagon ISD for its Certified Nursing Assistant vocational training program.
Nurse Instructor Amanda Sprague said, “It really takes a collaborative effort in having the supplies that we need to make sure that the students are learning on equipment that is up to date and functional.”
Today’s education system offers its students far more avenues for success than in past decades, and as each learning program needs room to grow, investments in education come in many forms.
“There’s really not a lot of money to go around in education so it’s really nice when the hospital steps in and is able to provide us with some of the equipment and make it available for the students to be learning,” said Sprague.
Students in the CNA training program get a feel for nursing and if they stick with it, earn certifications while still in high school.
Sprague said, “Sometimes they come into my program thinking that they’re going to be a nurse, and leave thinking ‘I’m never going to be a nurse!’ And sometimes they come into my program not quite sure and then they really find a passion.”
The program maintains a mutually beneficial relationship with the Aspirus Health System, and in addition to contributions like two more hospital beds that the students will use to provide educational treatment to manikins–Jerry, Jerry and coed Beatrice–many of these students will take this training right to the hospital for employment.
“We’ve actually had quite a few of those students come here and work as CNAs or nurses or in other departments later on in life,” said Aspirus Ontonagon Director of Nursing Taylor Ross.
Destiny, an 11th grade student at the Gogebic-Ontonagon ISD, said, “Everything that we learn here we would normally take it to a long term facility. We have a long term, not that far from our school actually, and in April we get to go there for clinicals and practice everything that we’ve learned on the residents there.”
Ross said, “They get real life experience, taking care of patients. They get residents assigned to them, they’ll learn how to help them eat their meals, what their daily care is–whatever they need for their daily life.”
For some students, working with real patients is what the training has been all about. “I started as a CNA before I was a nurse,” Ross said. “It’s a really great way to know if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life, and if you decide that it’s not right, than there’s really nothing lost.”
“I already have my mind set that I’m going to become a bachelor of RN,” said Destiny.
“It’s nice when they actually find what it is that they want to do for the rest of their lives. It’s actually an encouragement to me and I love to see how they grow and are doing great things long after me,” said Sprague.