Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Alive and Kicking!

Yep, still here. Sorry it's been so long, but it's been a crazy...one, two, eight, forty-two...yep, it's been a crazy seven weeks here in Virginia. Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of -- okay, let's not go there.

For those who regularly read my blog (all three of you), you know I've been out of work since August. In early-mid January, still sending out resumes and getting no responses, or interviewing and not getting hired, I spied an intriguing ad in the classified section of the newspaper. It offered a one month Certified Nursing Assistant course at a nearby accredited nursing home, starting March 1. "Wow," I thought, "get trained for a nursing job in only a month. Could this be real?" I check it out and found out that yes, indeed, it was for real and on February 2, I attended the introductory session. I was a bit apprehensive, as I'm not that young--barely middle aged--and not in great shape, but I was not the youngest there and my shape definitely wasn't an issue. After she explained what the job of a CNA entailed and the course schedule--75+ hours classroom and 63 clinicals, now that's intense--she gave us an evaluation test. I got a perfect score (!) and we scheduled an interview.

I interviewed a couple days later and the instructor, Robin, offered me a spot in the class right then and there! It was the most ridiculously easy interview I've ever had--I was expecting questions about why I wanted to get into nursing and why they should accept me over all the other potential students (almost 100 attended the intro session and there were only 10 spots in the class). Instead, I was asked if I would have a problem with child care (no kids, so nope), transportation (got a car, thanks), cost of course (manageable), if I spoke any other languages (just English) and a few other simple questions. She then said, "I normally don't do this in the interview, but I'd like to offer you a spot in the class." Of course, I accepted and she gave me the text book as well as all the homework assignments so I could get started on studying right away.

So I spent the month of February reading this 700 page, 41 chapter text book and doing as much of the homework as I could manage. I was also still applying for jobs as required for my unemployment benefits, hoping I wouldn't get an offer so I could take this class. Luck (if you can call it that) was on my side and I was in class bright and early March 1.

So now it's March 16, I just took the final exam and I passed with flying colors! Straight "A" all the way. My lowest grade was a 95.5 on one night's homework. I have to admit, it feels great to have done so well. After feeling like a complete loser for so long because I haven't been able to land a job, I've proven to myself that I can truly accomplish something that I set out to do. Unless you've been in the same situation, you can't truly appreciate how much of a boost something like that gives to your self-esteem.

Tomorrow we start clinicals, where we hit the nursing center floor and start to put to practice what we've been learning for the past several weeks. I just hope I don't hurt someone! Those old people are fragile!!!!