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Edna High School students get jump start in health careers through VC partnership

Sept. 21, 2013 at 4:21 a.m.

Edna High School students who started the program are seated from left: Larissa Lopez, Raven Woods, Kacey Nidey and Priscilla Flores. Kneeling, from left: Karlie Muschalek, Cierra Thornton, Alyssa Cavazos, Kaylan Callis, Hetvi Patel and Madison Grona. Standing, from left, Kirby Gonzalez, Danielle King-Williams, Yareli Perez, instructor Rai Williams, Casandra Hardeway, Rosalinda Granados and Tamara Mathis.

Victoria College has partnered with Edna High School to offer its nurse aide program on the EHS campus for students considering a health career.

Southbrooke Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is another partner in the program, in which students get hands-on experience through clinical instruction.

Southbrooke has part-time jobs available for students once they complete the program.

"Nursing is an in-demand occupation right now," said Marilyn Powell, VC's allied health coordinator and instructor. "This is a collaborative effort between VC and the school district to give students a jump start in the health career field."

Tuition for each of the 15 juniors and seniors enrolled in the program is paid for by the Edna school district. The curriculum is state-approved and includes 64 hours of classroom instruction along with 80 hours of clinical instruction.

Many of the Edna students have indicated a desire to attend Victoria College after graduation, Powell said. Several want to continue their training to become a licensed vocational nurse or registered nurse, while others plan to become physical therapists and doctors.

"This is very attractive to high school students because it makes them ready for employment and lets them earn some spending money," Powell said. "And it helps the nursing care facility so it can hire people to work at critical need times."

The program's instructor is Rai Williams, a graduate of Edna High School and Victoria College's Vocational Nursing Program. She is practicing in long-term care, and she plans to apply to VC's Associate Degree Nursing Program.

"Our students are getting post-secondary preparation through real-world applications and experiences," said Demetric Wells, Edna High School principal.

The students are given an introduction to health care systems and learn hygiene, basic anatomy and physiology, body systems, how to measure vital signs, care of the client at home and care of clients with special needs.

Upon successful completion of the training, the Edna students will be eligible to take the Texas Nurse Aide Registry Exam and begin working as a nurse aide as soon as they pass the exam.

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