A new program is coming to Comanche County Memorial Hospital that will allow those interested to earn while learning from CCMH educators and hopefully start their career in the medical field. This Advanced Unlicensed Assistant program is the first of its kind in a hospital setting in SW Oklahoma.

Sonja McInnis, a clinical educator at CCMH, said the AUA program was created in 1996 and passed by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. It is only in an acute care setting.

“It was designed to help the nursing staff complete tasks, assist patients with certain the things they need, like basic everyday skills,” McInnis said.

Kylah Rucker, the nursing supervisor of nursing education at CCMH, said there are several things the students will learn during the 10-week course that starts in September.

“So, venipunctures,” Ruckrer said. “We’ll also do EKGs, things like foley insertions, basically the skill set of what a nurse can do, but leaving out the assessment part.”

Rucker said this could be a great starting point for someone who would like to become a nurse one day.

“This would be a great first step,” she said. “We also have some other opportunities. We have an NA program where we will train you. You don’t come out certified, but we will train you to work in our hospital, and that’s also another steppingstone to getting to be a nurse.”

McInnis and Rucker are the nurses who will be teaching it. Those going through the course are hospital employees, so they’ll go through orientation and be paid while learning how to be an AUA. McInnis said she has a background as a medsurge nurse for 30 years.

“I came to education in May because I think I can do a service to the newer generation coming up,” McInnis said.

She wants to help them explore the medical field to see if it’s what they want to do. Rucker said she started at CCMH 15 years ago as a CNA and worked her way up to become a nurse.

“I believe that Comanche County is a great hospital to grow up in,” she said. “Like I said, I started here in high school, worked my way up to become a nurse, and I feel like I’m ready to concur the world after working here.”

She hopes sharing her trials and tribulations helps others who want to work their way up.

“We don’t always make it there as fast as we want to,” Rucker said. “But the fact that you keep trying, and keep trying and maybe take other avenues like this AUA program to get there.”

The course starts the first week of September, but August 20th is the last day you can apply. You can go to CCMHhealth.com to apply.

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