Barry Fliegelman, LNHA

There’s an employment crisis in healthcare today. That’s certainly not news, but what we’re doing about it at Centers Health Care definitely is. The latest addition to our recruitment tool bag is launching at Warren Center in beautiful Queensbury, NY, which is in the heart of the Adirondacks.

The entire Adirondack region is trying to understand how to attract more qualified CNAs, but the fact is there just aren’t enough. So we took a different approach in that we’re helping to make more qualified CNAs.

My team and I approached the New York State Department of Health and the Department of Education in September of last year and received approval to develop and start a CNA training course. For anyone thinking about a future in healthcare, this eight-week course is a great place to start. Here’s more good news: It’s free!

Attending a course like this can cost as much as $1,700, but students who sign up for this program will pay nothing. Working as a CNA is difficult work, but it’s also an extremely important and gratifying job. As you know, a CNA’s duties may include assessing the physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis and treatment, operating medical equipment, applying bandages, dressings, or splints, as well as assisting doctors and nurses during medical procedures. Also, as CNAs have daily contact with patients, they gather vital information about patients’ conditions and fulfill basic quality-of-life needs.

With the shortage of qualified candidates and a need that keeps expanding, qualifying as a CNA is a near-guarantee of employment for many years to come. In addition, once you are employed as a CNA, the job can make a terrific first step on a ladder that leads to other positions in health care. It is, in short, an exciting, crucial, sometimes challenging job that can lead to a rewarding professional career. Although the course graduates won’t be obligated to come work with us at Centers Health Care, I’m confident that, after experiencing the positive work environment at Warren Center, most will choose to work here, or at one of our other twelve Centers Health Care locations throughout the Adirondacks and Capital Region.

Our greatest asset at Centers Health Care are the good people who work for us. Our greatest challenge has been finding them. We have worked hard and successfully to do just that, with this innovative and proactive new CNA training program, we are taking another positive step forward. That’s just the start of this invaluable new program as we plan on offering many more training sessions in the future.  On the grand scope of things, I cannot see how a program like this wouldn’t fit a blue print of any nursing shortage in any part of our country.

Barry Fliegelman, LNHA, is the Administrator of the Warren Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare in Queensbury, NY.