Twice a week, Somerset County Technology Center students in health and medical assisting class have the opportunity to visit nursing homes and receive hands on training. The class is part of the school's nurse aide program. They learn skills in the classroom and then go out to clinicals and care for the residents that live there. To finish their training, students are required to complete sixty hours of theory and sixty hours of clinical time.
Students who complete the training receive a certificate and are eligible to sit for the state exam to be placed on the Pennsylvania nurse aide registry. Upon successfully passing the exam, students can use their certification to obtain a job as a nurse aide. The students visited Meadowview in Berlin and the Patriot in Somerset, before heading to Siemon's Lakeview Manor.
Certification testing is available for students in December. Students have a choice of two testing sites. They can either take the test at Somerset County Technology Center in Somerset or at Hiram G. Andrews in Johnstown. On the test, there are two sections. There is a written portion where the students will answer questions and have to get a certain score to pass and they only have two hours to do so. The students will also have to perform five skills all within a half-hour time period and pass to receive their certification. Once students obtain their certificate they have a limited time to take the certification test.
Being a nurse aide is a great opportunity to work with those who need a kind, compassionate caregiver and can be a rewarding occupation as well as a stepping stone in the medical field.