The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

May 9, 2013

Community health nurses treat and teach

OTTUMWA — Pick up somebody's gross germs from a doorknob, and there are plenty of nurses who will treat the resulting cold. But some nurses will add in a lesson on hand washing.

"We're teaching things to avoid communicable illness," said Jacquelyn Pope, R.N., a nurse in the Health and Wellness department of the Ottumwa Job Corps Center. "Hand washing is big. The first week trainees arrive, we make sure their immunizations are caught up, give flu shots ... there's a lot of preventative care."

The health care team at Job Corps knew that this week was National Nurse Appreciation Week. But they were more proud of the certificate their office received for scoring well above the national average in patient satisfaction, as voted on by Job Corps students across America.

Their secret is twofold. One, said Keitha Cutsforth R.N., the wellness manager, is laughter. The nurses and staff try to keep things light. But not too silly, because the second secret to success, said health and wellness clerk Kaitlyn Brown, is providing a professional environment where Job Corps trainees will be reminded of the most important goal on center.

"Employability," she said. "They need to be on time for their appointments, on center or when seeing a specialist [in the community], they need to bring [appropriate records or forms] with them."

"... that they reschedule their appointment if they can't make it," added Pope.

These students may end up in the same field. Eveline Nduwimana, 21, is enrolled in the Certified Nursing Assistant program at Ottumwa Job Corps.

"We learn how to take care of residents ... at nursing homes, hospitals or at their home," she said.

Some of the work will be hard, but that doesn't bother her, she said. Lifting a patient, helping them shower or use the bathroom is all just part of service to others.

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