Several area organizations are working to improve healthcare in Texoma. With a Texas Workforce grant, departments created the states first ever Certified Nurses Aide training program for those who are bilingual. It's an effort to help patients who don't speak English and doctors and nurses who don't speak Spanish.
On Monday they were in a classroom learning the ropes of healthcare but by the end
of the month they'll be at United Regional putting their practice to work.
"We've had three months of classroom work and then they had three weeks on clinicals which means they actually went out and worked with residents at Texoma Christian Care," said Miriam Mas, who is involved with the program.
In a sense it's like any other Vernon College nurses aide course. They have the books, the
hands on training, but also English translating courses.
"So they can not only work as nurses aides but also serve as translators for the families
patients, doctors and nurses," said Mas.
"We have a lot of patients that are primarily Spanish speaking so we do have a need for
bilingual employees," said Michelle Watson a United Regional Clinical Nurse Specialist.
Mary Jimenez a single mother of three worked as a housekeeper at United Regional when she was recruited for the program.
"I was kind of debating to go and do it and not to do it, but I also wanted a better future
for me and my kids," said Jimenez.
She also wanted to serve as an example for other Spanish speaking men and women looking to further their career.
"I think this class will help people motivate themselves and move forward and to not let because you speak only one language hold you back," she said.
"They know they can do this so if they can do this, then you know what's their next step?" said Mas.
They traded scrubbing floors for real scrubs a decision that's evident on their faces.
They will be finished at the end of this month and serve as translators and nurses aides. The next class begins on Monday June 27. For more information on this training contact the Continuing Education Department at Vernon College at 940-696-8752.