The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 9, 2013

Community health nurses treat and teach


"I like helping people out," she said. "I always have."

One would hope that would be a common trait in health care. The pros echo Eveline's feelings.

"It's rewarding, knowing we made a difference every day in the lives of young people," said Pope.

"The pictures tell the story," said Cutsforth. "They have a picture taken when they get here and when they leave. You should see the difference from when they first arrive to when they complete."

She said living with three roommates in a considerate way is good practice. "At a job site, how do you get along with the person next to you?"

Nearly all the jobs students may get when they graduate from the program are going to involve getting along with others, whether it's the boss who hires them, a customer or a co-worker.

"If the resident is too heavy," said Eveline, "you want to make sure you have a second person to help. Because you don't want to injure yourself — and you definitely don't want to injure the patient."

But Eveline has her own instructors for the CNA program. The wellness staff members are there for every student.

Students, upon arrival, may have ADHD, diabetes or mental health issues. Most things can be managed in the wellness office.

The students, required to be from low-income homes, may arrive with dental trouble, too.

"Some of them have never been to see a dentist," said Brown, who helps trainees fill out paperwork for health care resources.

"One of our main goals," said Cutsforth, "is teaching them how to manage their own health care and how to advocate for themselves. They've got to learn that now, because they're not always going to have free health care."

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