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CNA Spotlight: Lynda Coates, CNA II, Behavioral Health Services

CNA Spotlight: Lynda Coates, CNA II, Behavioral Health Services

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 Lynda Coates, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) II in Behavioral Health Services (BHS). Lynda has worked for Campbell County Health for five years, initially working at Pioneer Manor in Environmental Services. While helping to keep residents' and patients' rooms clean, Lynda found that she was getting close with the residents and wanted to be more involved with patient care.

"I found myself wanting to help them down the hallway, or even push them in the wheelchair, and I wasn't able to do those things while working as a house keeper," Lynda says. So, Lynda decided to take a CNA class; she's been a CNA since 2013. "I love my job. I get to come to work every day and make people smile. I get to help people feel better—there's nothing better than that."

woman sitting at desk

As a CNA II in BHS, Lynda checks vital signs, does welfare checks on patients, helps incoming patient's complete admitting paperwork, helps with the therapy groups offered in the in-patient wing of BHS, and even helps to get some of the patient's to open up about their feelings and how they are doing—among other duties. "When the nurses get busy, we often find that we become a go-between for the patient and the nurse," Lynda said.

While the work can be both physically and mentally challenging at times, Lynda says it's the best job she's ever had. "I work with amazing people and at a great organization that helps me grow personally and professionally," she says. "I encourage others to do this work, but you have to be dedicated to the patients and the residents—I always put my patients first."

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.