March 23, 2023

AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) – Good Samaritan Society Comforcare Nursing Home in Austin is promoting its certified nursing assistant training program to attract more candidates.
According to Comforcare, CNAs provide 90% of resident care in nursing homes. They are in charge of helping residents with activities of daily living.
“They help with brushing hair, brushing teeth, getting residents dressed, bathing bedmaking,” Comforcare Clinical Learning and Development Specialist Randy Huls said. “These are things that we sometimes take for granted. CNAs and nurses make a great impact on patients.”
Huls is in charge of the facility’s training program. He said what sets it apart from CNA programs at traditional schools is that Good Samaritan pays for the training and the students receive an hourly wage while they learn. Good Samaritan also pays for students to take the state exam.
The program is 55 hours of online work and 24 hours of hands-on work.
“It’s really great, because when you apply, you are automatically enrolled,” he said. “Something that other places don’t have is that you get to actually see firsthand what it’s like to work with residents.”
Huls said enrollment has been steady.
“Every week throughout the year, it’s nonstop,” he said. “We are enrolling people every week. It’s nice to bring in fresh people get them rolling. Right now, I have eight in this center and ten in my other center.”
Felicia Howie has been a CNA for ten years and has worked at Comforcare for one year. She said she loves her residents. She said CNA needs to have compassion, patience and a good work ethic.
“It just takes a really strong person,” she said. “The first thing you need to do when you walk through the doors is make sure you come with a positive attitude. Make sure you come to work happy, because if you come to work crabby, not only does it affect your day, but it affects our residents.”
Howie has started the process of becoming a nurse and she said being a CNA has helped to prepare her for the new journey.
“I am pretty excited,” she said.
Ann O’Connor has been a resident at Comforcare for the last seven weeks while her leg injury heals. She worked at a nursing home as a cook for 27 years. She said residents need love and a compassionate person to help them out.
She has developed a close relationship with her CNAs and nurses.
“They help me get up, they help me to the bathroom, they help me get dressed,” she said. “They never argue with me, well, I never argue with them. They are so good, they are really, really caring.”
According to Comforcare CNA job listings online, starting wages for the position range from $14.65/hour-$20/hour, depending on the shift.
For more information, visit the Comforcare website.
For more information on Minnesota statutes and standards for certified nursing assistants, click here.
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