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Waelder students gain patient care skills through Nurse Aide class at VC’s Gonzales Center

Four Waelder High School students are taking the Nurse Aide class at Victoria College’s Gonzales Center. Pictured from left are Paulina Rangel, Natalie Nino, Lorena Macias and Alice Aguilar.

Waelder High School students Paulina Rangel, Natalie Nino, Lorena Macias and Alice Aguilar were apprehensive at first about taking the Nurse Aide class at Victoria College’s Gonzales Center.

“When we started, we thought it was going to be a really hard class, but it hasn’t been that hard,” said Rangel, a junior. “I want to become a registered nurse, and I’m learning a lot of new skills.”

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) provide intimate, hands-on healthcare to patients in medical settings. Students who successfully complete the Nurse Aide class are eligible to take the Texas Nurse Aide Registry exam.

“Six of the seven students in this semester’s class are high school students,” said VC Gonzales Center instructor Tricia Storey. “Most of them want to go into nursing school.”

The class also has three other high school students in Gonzales County. Three of the four Waelder High School students, who drive to Gonzales for the night class, are planning to pursue careers in nursing.

“This class has really helped us learn how to take good care of patients,” said Nino, a senior.

CNA duties include turning or repositioning bed-ridden patients; taking patients’ temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs; documenting patients’ health issues and reporting to nurses; feeding patients; measuring patients’ food and liquid intakes; cleaning rooms and bed linens; helping with medical procedures; and dressing wounds.

A high school diploma is not required to take the class. Students must be at least 16 years of age.

“There is a high demand for CNAs in our area,” said Shari Gould, VC’s Allied Health Continuing Education director. “Many times, students get hired right after taking the class. Gaining certification as a nurse aide can be a stepping stone to higher-paying careers in the healthcare profession.”

For more information about the upcoming Nurse Aide and other Victoria College Allied Health Continuing Education offerings, call (361) 582-2412 or email HealthCareers@VictoriaCollege.edu.