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More people joining healthcare field after seeing COVID strain on hospitals

Methodist offering new free CNA training program
Posted at 6:37 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 19:48:14-04

OMAHA, Neb. — Methodist Health System has noticed the need for more health care workers and is now offering free training to people who want to get involved in becoming certified nursing assistants (CNA).

The interest in the program is already growing as more people are switching career paths to help health care workers during the pandemic.

“We have actually seen a huge increase in our numbers," Nebraska Methodist College program coordinator for short career courses, including CNA's, Joey Gardner said. "We are on track to enroll 600 students through our program in 2021, which is a huge increase from 2020.”

Calandra Cooper is a CNA at Methodist Hospital after receiving her training through Nebraska Methodist College — but healthcare wasn't always her career path. Before she was a health care worker, she ran an art studio. Calandra had a change of heart after she saw how the pandemic was straining healthcare workers last year.

"There was an extreme shortage in healthcare, shortage not only with nurses but also with CNAs so I was fulfilling a need," Cooper said.

Now Cooper helps nurses and patients with daily tasks and feels like she's doing her part to help the community.

The 5-week program is free with a two-year commitment to work at Methodist Hospital. Applications are being accepted now.