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High School Students Utilizing New Equipment in OCC's CNA Class

CNA Equipment PhotoOlney Central College has added new equipment to enhance the experience of high school students enrolled in its CNA course.

The South Central Illinois - Area Health Education Center provided funding for the purchases through federal grant monies it administers.

Items acquired include a geriatric simulator vest, weights and a neck brace. The devices enable students to experience what it is like for older patients, who have their range of motion constricted by arthritis and other age- related conditions.

“These students are young and don’t understand how difficult it can be for older patients and residents,” said Tami Higgs, who serves as OCC’s CNA Coordinator and the instructor for the high school CNA class. “The weights can be put on their wrists and ankles and they get an idea of what it is like to move when you are weak and stiff. Using the equipment really gives them compassion and empathy for the elderly.”

OCC also obtained a transfer board and aquathermia pad, items the students will frequently use in hospitals and long-term care facilities. The college even acquired compression hose so students can practice assisting someone in putting them on and removing them.

“Having the opportunity to see and work with these items before they enter the clinical setting is very important,” Higgs said.

A model lung also was purchased with the funding and will be arriving later this semester.

“This equipment has been very helpful and we are grateful to have it,” Higgs said. “You can read the words in a textbook, but this gives the students hands-on experience and will help them to better recall the concepts we’ve discussed in class.”

The SCI-AHEC in Mt. Vernon exposes area youth to the many rewarding health care career opportunities that are available. In addition to OCC, SCI-AHEC provided grant monies to Frontier Community College in Fairfield.

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