Nearly nurses: CHS students complete CNA classes


Courtesy of Tracy Stritch

Students from Carlisle, Big Spring, and West Perry Area School Districts graduated from the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) recognition in a ceremony held at the Carlisle High School. The following Carlisle students were among the Fall 2018 graduates: Sydney Overmiller, Jamal Spells, Casey Casteel, Max Bethtel, Armela Ferhatovic

By Dyamond Jones, Carlisle High School

Carlisle High School offers a variety of co-op and career exploration programs that help make way for future chefs, nurses, and mechanics.

Through a partnership with Carlisle Regional Medical Center and Harrisburg Area Community College, students can complete a 120-hour course in preparation for the state’s CNA or Certified Nursing Assistant exam. Seniors from Carlisle, Big Spring, and West Perry are offered admission to the program.

As of October 31st, the following Carlisle students were among the fall 2018 graduates: Sydney Overmiller, Jamal Spells, Casey Casteel, Max Bechtel, and Armela Ferhatovic.

Senior Overmiller considers the recent graduation a major accomplishment.

“To graduate felt like I had just achieved something greater than myself,” Overmiller said. “I knew that with the certificate, I would be able to impact and improve the lives of many people by providing them with the care they need and the compassion they deserve.”

The program is a way for students to get real-world job training while still in high school. Another recent CHS CNA program graduate, Casey Casteel, joined the program to get a head start on their career.

“I joined the program because I want to be a neonatal nurse after college so I figured joining the program would a good start,” Casteel said. 

Prospective students must complete a variety of tasks inside and outside of the classroom before graduating and receiving their certifications

“This five-week intensive study explores the role of the nursing assistant and provides training in the essentials of daily patient care,” said Tracy Stritch, a cooperative coordinator for Carlisle High School. “Students currently complete clinical hours at Claremont Nursing Home and Chapel Pointe during after school and weekend hours. There is also a lab in the health careers classroom where students practice clinical skills. Daily homework assignments are an essential part of the course.”

The recent graduates will take their certification exam in the few coming weeks. Students with passing scores who are of the age of 18 will have the opportunity to receive employment at nursing homes, local hospitals, and assisted living facilities while still being enrolled in high school.

Another round of CNA courses will take place in the spring of 2019, granting a new wave of students the opportunity to receive their certifications and eventually become a CNA. Of the students enrolled, five are seniors from Carlisle High School.

This story was originally published on Periscope on December 6, 2018.