New health-care school graduates its first class

Instructor Linda Krueger works with students in the lab on training exercises such as changing sheets and transferring a patient from a wheelchair to the bed or vice versa.

Instructor Linda Krueger works with students in the lab on training exercises such as changing sheets and transferring a patient from a wheelchair to the bed or vice versa.

FLINT TWP. — One month ago, six women started classes at Charter Health Care Training Center, 1055 Charter Drive, with a goal of getting a better-paying job and career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.). Now they are ready to graduate.

Charter’s C.N.A. training program is one of many being offered to prepare workers needed in the health-care field, said Linda Krueger, Charter’s director and primary instructor. She is a Registered Nurse and taught C.N.A. classes at Baker College for about seven years.

Krueger’s first Charter class started March 1 and were ready last week for finals – clinical training in an actual nursing home, working with real patients, supervised by Krueger.

“We do six hours a day for four days,’’ Krueger said, which is to fulfill the 24- hours state requirement before taking the state test.

After passing the test, they will be listed on a C.N.A. registry and not have to re-certify for two years, Krueger said.

“You can you can go from unemployed to ready to work in four weeks,” she said of the program. “You can go from being paid minimum wage to being paid $10 an hour or more in four weeks, so the cost of the program pays for itself within six months.”

Students also can return for two more weeks of training as Home Health Aides – giving them the flexibility of having two career paths in just six weeks, said Krueger, adding that jobs are plentiful in these fields.

She is the only instructor at this point but a night instructor is being added this month with room for up to three additional instructors as demand for training grows.

Ten new students start this month and each four-week class can accommodate up to 16 to keep it manageable.

The four weeks of training includes lecture and hand-on training in an onsite lab. Students learn to give bed baths and provide other bedside care to Ken and Barbie, Willie and Tillie, Brad and Angelina, Sonny and Cher — humanizing names given to the training mannequins occupying beds in the lab.

There also are a simulated living room, bathroom and kitchen where students learn home-care skills like giving sink baths, doing laundry and selecting proper foods such as for a low-salt diet.

Once registered, everything students need is provided, Krueger said.

“Our program is a little unique in that we offer everything that is one-stop shopping so to speak. I do all of their TB testing here. We do all of their criminal history checks here. We give them uniforms as part of the tuition and we give them books as part of the tuition.”

Krueger noted that the spacious, modern facility welcomes small community groups who need a place to meet free of charge, when classes are not in session. An Alzheimer’s Support group is one that meets there but the group’s purpose does not have to be medical related.

Charter Health Care Training Center is owned by Tina Lopez, a registered nurse, who also owns Medical Professionals, a private duty company located in the same building.

Plans are to also offer classes for Home Health Aides, CPR and eventually specialized classes for nurses aid to work with people with catastrophic injuries, Krueger said. For more information about classes and enrollment, contact the school at 810-600-6000.

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