Almost two dozen high school seniors from the KMC volunteered on an early fall weekend to crouch together on rubber floor mats in order to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation using clinical dummies and video scenarios at Ramstein High School Sept. 12 and 13.
In less than six months, the teenagers will be pulling shifts at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, said Kaiserslautern High School’s teaching nurse, Jodie L. Richmond. They will be tasked with joining military and civilian LMRC staff to help treat live patients at the U.S. military’s biggest hospital in Europe.
The students are volunteers in an aggressive apprenticeship designed to forge and mature future medical talent in the skills necessary to license early as a Certified Nursing Assistant, said RHS’s teaching nurse, Pamela K. George.
The high school students in the KMC aim to earn professional CNA licensing through the State of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services in tandem with the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity. They must perform more than two years of theoretical classroom studies, work at least 40 hours of clinical duty at LMRC and pass a written and practical test administered by examiners from the NCDHSR and Department of Defense Education Activity approving board, said Richmond.
“Actually, it’s usually more than 56 practical hours with at least three 12-hour (hospital) shifts,” Richmond said.
The CNA license from the program also transfers to at least 39 States.
Most of the candidates who complete the program have a decided advantage in pursuing future medical careers in both civilian and military sectors, Richmond said. They can also expect early promotions, she added.
For many of the students, a medical vocation is often a legacy of their own parent’s clinical professions, but the program is open to any candidate with the desire to help people and study hard, Richmond said.
“I’m training to save lives,” said Atlanta N. Haynes, a student of KHS.
Haynes said her mother and sister both work in medicine.
For RHS student Andrew S. Wilson, the certification is also about service and helping people.
“I can change people’s lives,” Wilson said. “It’s kind of cool.”