In July of 2015, the Wyoming Department of Health issued a statement that said the shortage of certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in Wyoming is reaching crisis stage—a reality that we're seeing here at Campbell County Health. So, what is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and why are they important to health care? Well, we thought we'd invite you to learn more about this crucial position by highlighting some of the people who work as a CNA every day here at CCH.
Meet Cynthia Harnish a CNA at Pioneer Manor long-term care facility and also on the
Transition Care Unit (TCU) in the facility—she also helps with the Transportation side of the facility as well. Cynthia has been with CCH, and a CNA, for 14 months.
"The best part of being a CNA at Pioneer Manor is being a part of the residents' lives in their home," says Cynthia. "I am a caretaker at heart and it comes naturally. I love being part of a team who strives to make a difference in a life, in a family's life, and in the community."
A typical day as a CNA at Pioneer Manor and the TCU is a busy one. On any given day, Cynthia will assist with dressing residents, as well as helping them with daily tasks such as showering, using the bathroom, doing their hair, brushing their teeth and eating. Cynthia will also make beds, tidy rooms, check resident's blood sugar and take vital signs. Another part of her job is helping residents who may need help walking to different locations in the facility, as well as encouraging them to participate in daily activities such as bingo, bowling, or church service. And, she'll do all of this while also helping nurses with other tasks.
Cynthia mentioned that while being a CNA is hard work, the career is a choice, not a job. "As a CNA, you use compassion every day," she says. "Every resident (or patient) you are helping is someone's mother, father, sister, brother, friend. It is so important to treat each of them as you would want someone to treat your loved one, every single time you come in contact with them."
Cynthia also mentioned that CCH offers continuing education classes for all of their employees, and encourages staff to better themselves. The CNA career path can lead to many different options in healthcare—CNAs can choose to become Medication Aides, as well as become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), Registered Nurses (RN) or even Nurse Practitioners (APRN).
To help attract, and retain, other caring and compassionate individuals to a career in health care, CCH has created a Care Assistant position to help qualified candidates receive their CNA license by paying for the training. Read more about the Care Assistant position at www.cchwyo.org/CNARec. For more information on the Care Assistant program, please contact CCH's
Professional Development Department at 307.688.6040.
Job seekers will be able to apply for the Care Assistant position, or other CNA positions, at www.cchwyo.org/careers. For more information on employment opportunities at CCH, please contact Human Resources at 307.688.1500.
Campbell County Health includes Campbell County Health, a 90-bed acute care, community hospital; Campbell County Medical Group with nearly 20 specialty clinics; Pioneer Manor long-term care facility and the
Powder River Surgery Center. CCMH is certified as an Area Trauma Hospital by the State of Wyoming. CCH boasts nearly 80 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in more than 20 specialties. Gillette—part of Campbell County, Wyoming—is situated between the Big Horn Mountains to the west and the Black Hills to the east, in the Powder River Basin. The region is home to numerous cafes, fine steakhouses, grills, sushi and more, and there are many stores to browse through for clothing, electronics, gifts, shoes, etc. Learn more about our community at
What is a CNA?
CCH thought we'd invite you to learn more about this crucial position by highlighting some of the people who work as a CNA every day here at CCH. Check out their stories and learn more at www.cchwyo.org/CNA.