Atwater High debuts new Certified Nursing Assistant course

·2 min read
Christopher Winterfeldt

A new class offered at Atwater High School is geared toward giving students the opportunity to earn their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license by the time they graduate from high school.

According to a news release from Merced Union High School District, the class is offered to students enrolled in the school’s Health Science and Medical Technology CTE Pathway.

The class began its first semester in January and is taught by Raj. Mehat, who also teaches the CNA course at Merced College.

Students receive six units of college credit during the semester that consists of lectures at AHS and clinical time at healthcare facilities in Atwater and Merced, the release says.

Mehat says she created the class while looking for ways to grow the school’s MedTech program that also fit the busy schedules of her students who may not be able to travel to Merced College after school.

It took a lot of legwork over last summer to get her idea off the ground. Luckily, the school and district administration as well as the local healthcare community were open to the partnership.

“It was tough because I had to do a lot of networking and calling people while on their summer break,” Mehat said in the release. “But I was determined and I’m glad I was able to convince them that these students are capable of doing the work and doing it well.”

Mehat knows what an amazing opportunity this class is for students who plan to work in the healthcare industry.

She says that it’s not a course that’s commonly offered at high schools, which means students who complete the course will have a leg up on their peers, the release said.

“I mean, it’s a license that they realistically can have before graduating high school which will allow them to work at a hospital, a long term care facility or psyche center,” said Mehat.

“I am so excited and I can’t wait to hear back from students who go through the program and see where they end up.”

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