High school starts on-the-job LNA training program

  • Caitlin Galea, 17, of Peterborough, serves as a practice dummy for her partner to practice taking a temperature. Read Galea’s story inside on page 14. Courtesy photo

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, April 10, 2017 11:49PM

Caitlin Galea is looking towards her future as a nurse. And before she steps foot into college, she’ll have already gotten some experience in her field under her belt, thanks to one of ConVal Regional High School’s applied technology programs.

Galea, 17, of Peterborough, took her last class this week to complete a course that certifies her as a licensed nursing assistant, or LNA – a process that can cost around $1,500, but that is offered through a course run through ConVal at no cost to students. Region 14 Applied Technology Center at ConVal High School has a contract with the Red Cross, which allows for up to eight students a quarter – 32 per year – to take a course to receive an LNA license, although typically the district only has enough interested students to fill two or three courses per year.

But for those interested in entering the nursing field, the class is a boon.

“I’m going to college for nursing in the fall,” said Galea. “I thought the LNA program was a great opportunity. I wanted to get hands-on experience, and I wanted to get a job this summer that’s relevant to my career.”

Galea first became interested in the medical field after taking an Anatomy and Physiology class at ConVal, and listening to a presentation on the nursing field from an Emergency Room nurse on the profession.

“I just wanted to give back and make people better, and that is what nursing is,” said Galea. “I’ve seen the influence a nurse can have on other people and I wanted to be that same influence.”

Though Galea hopes to use her soon-to-be-obtained LNA certification to gain a job in the area this summer, she’s already had a chance to interact with patients. The LNA certification requires clinical hours, which students can complete through a partnership with RiverMead in Peterborough, a retirement community which provides a range of living situations, including independent living, assisted living, and a memory care unit. After four weeks in the classroom learning the theory, students begin their clinicals in the RiverMead environment. 

“It’s great to have that experience and to be able to practice on actual people,” said Galea. And students are given a lot of autonomy once they prove themselves – after proving proficiency with a skill twice under supervision, students are allowed to do them independently or with a partner, caring for one or two patients at a time, doing things like taking vitals, assisting patients with going to the bathroom or getting ready for dinner or bed. 

“You’re really getting that experience. You’re not just looking over someone’s shoulder, you’re doing it yourself. And you’re basically there for everything. You’re not just caring for their physical needs, but their emotional,” said Galea. “They’re a person. You have to meet both those needs.”


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com.