If you are looking for a job in Wallowa County, Wallowa Memorial Hospital director of nursing Gail Johnson says to look no further than a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) position. Jobs are available in the Wallowa Valley Care Center, the hospital, in the field of foster care and even independent positions in regular home situations.

"Right now I can't think of any area of health care where we don't have a need," says the director of nursing.

She claims that CNA positions can become a steppingstone for advancement in the medical profession. Two current CNAs at the hospital are in the process of advancing their education to become nurses.

On Oct. 7 a new two month class for CNAs will get underway in the conference center of the hospital. Taught by B. J. Whitehead, classes will be held three days per week and last until Dec. 12. The cost of the class is $150, with tuition refunded if the student is hired by the local health care district after completing the class.

CNA Ashley Mallory says that becoming a CNA has completely changed her career goals. She now wishes to be a nurse. "To anyone thinking about taking this class: I say go for it!" she says.

Johnson talks about the breadth of the CNA experience, working in such areas as obstetrics, critical care, med/surgery, geriatrics, home health and emergency room. She says that CNAs perform at all levels of patient care under the supervision of registered nurses. That includes daily care, monitoring vital signs, helping with procedures and stabilizing patients.

Johnson notes that there are advancement opportunities within the framework of the CNA's position. Added skills in the position compute into higher wages.

Anyone interested in signing up for the class or wishing additional information should phone Nancy Waters at 426-5313.

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