EHHS CNAs Save Lives

The EHHS CNA (Certified Nursing Assistants) program is taught by Mrs. Li Martin. Mrs. Martin is a certified nurse. “Teaching is my passion,” Martin says. The CNA program is a very challenging program for students. In order to be accepted into this class, you need to be able to handle a rigorous schedule and course in your senior year. Students science classes are especially important to have to be accepted into the program.

CNA’s are chosen based on:

  • Application answers

  • Interview performance

  • Attendance

  • Academic readiness of the students

Photo Credit: Mrs.Harkins

Only 16 students are chosen to be apart of this class per year. In October, a student applicant would pick up an application for the CNA program. They are due back to Mrs Martin by November. Gianna Gogliettino, a senior at EHHS, who is also taking the CNA program, explained a little bit about her experience with being accepted into the program“It was a little difficult because there are only limited spots in the CNA class. You have to fill out an application and then meet with the CNA teacher, Mrs. Li Martin to discuss whether you’re a good candidate for the class or not. Good grades, attendance and an interest in nursing/ the medical field are recommended,” Gianna Gogliettino says. In this case Gianna believes she “learned more” at the hospital other than the nursing home because at the nursing home “everything was a slow pace.”

When beginning the class, the students begin to do hands-on activities and learn about infection control. Normally, the first thing Mrs. Martin teaches them is typically, “Handwashing and putting on gloves correctly.” On a daily basis the class learned about terminology, medical math, and work on skills on manikins, as well as each other.

During clinical days the students take a bus from EHHS at 7:30am and arrive at St Raphael’s by 8:00am. Then they stay there until 2:30pm, working with their own patients, feeding them and helping them throughout the day to have one on one time. They slowly start to do more and more hands-on activities each day. Students are required to do a total of 60 hours at clinicals in order to take the state exam. The CNA class takes clinicals that are one day per week. “Six days at Apple Rehab-Laurel Woods in East Haven and four days at Yale St. Raphael's campus if they qualify,” Mrs. Martin said. While taking clinicals, they learn a lot on post-mortem care, hospital procedures/treatments like PICC line placements, and x-rays. They also feed patients and bathe them. Students try to make each patient more comfortable. They learn about nursing roles and care. Students were able to shadow other nurses to watch dressing changes and medication administration. The CNA final exam is a big deal and a very big test. “The exam has two parts. Part one is a computer test on the knowledge of the CNA profession. Part two is a clinical test where the student must perform five skills in front of a judge from the test company to proficiency. Each group takes both tests here at EHHS on the same day in May,” Mrs. Martin said.

Gabriella Ojeda, a senior at EHHS who takes the CNA program said, “I enjoy going to clinicals every Monday because I look forward to learning more things and seeing my patients.” Towards the end of the year, the class focuses more on capstone as a whole and preparing for the CNA exam. Hands-on activities make the students feel like they have the ability to learn more. By the students taking clinicals in two different places, the students believe that both places are equal, but the nursing home was more hands-on than the hospital..If you are interested in taking CNA or being in the medical field contact Mrs. Martin in E312 or you can speak to any of the students who are in the program.