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CNA Spotlight: Candace Nelson, CNA, Transitional Care Unit

CNA Spotlight: Candace Nelson, CNA, Transitional Care Unit

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.

Allow me to introduce you to Candace (Candy) Nelson a CNA in the Transitional Care Unit (TCU) at Pioneer Manor long-term care facility. Candy has worked for CCH for a year, but has been a CNA for more than seven years, but had started out at a home health care center in Nevada before getting licensed as a CNA. The TCU provides care to patients who need a focused rehabilitation program before they are fully discharged from the hospital.

"I love being a CNA," says Candy. "I love helping people and being appreciated for what I can do for them."

Candace dressing a bed

As a CNA in the TCU, Candy's overall duties include assisting patients with getting ready for their day-to-day activities. So, she'll help them get out of bed, go to the bathroom, get dressed, and walk around the facility to get to rehab or other tasks they may need to do. She'll also check their vital signs, test their blood sugar levels, help keep their room tidy and make their beds. She often works with the Occupational and Physical Therapists in assisting the patients with their exercises to help them get better and go home faster.

Candy mentioned that at first she was a little worried about working at the TCU in Pioneer Manor because she enjoyed getting to know the people she had worked with in the past, and liked the routine of it. "However, now I've learned that I really enjoy seeing patients get better and meeting different people. I feel like I really make a difference and seeing people in TCU work hard to get better and go home to continue living their lives is very rewarding."

Candy also mentioned that the best part of being a CNA is that she gets to spend more time than nurses or doctors chatting and getting to know the patient. "Sure, it's hard work; but it's worth it to be able to help someone recover and go home. Plus, I love to talk, so it's really a natural fit for me," she says with a smile.

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 www.cchwyo.org/community.

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.