The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

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Norah Sletten is a senior at OHS and this is her third year on OHS Magnet staff. Sletten joined Magnet because she has an interest in journalism. Alongside being a part of OHS Magnet, Sletten is involved...

Afton Torabpour is a junior at the Owatonna High School and this is her first year being a part of OHS Magnet. She's a OHS Girls Swim and Dive captain, she is also involved in Track, DECA, Big Brother...

Ella Highfield is a senior at OHS, and it is her second year on Magnet staff. Outside of school she dances for Just For Kix dance studio. She is also involved in YoungLife, DECA, Link Crew, SHOC and Thriving...

Pathway to medicine at OHS

Layla+Motl+and+Addison+Ahrends+practice+skills+before+their+state+test.+
Ella Williams
Layla Motl and Addison Ahrends practice skills before their state test.

One of the concurrent enrollment classes taught at OHS is the Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) course. The class is offered through Riverland Community College, and with the new building, is able to be taught on the high school campus. This gives students interested in healthcare an opportunity for a head start and to gain their CNA certification.

The course is offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in the medical field. The class teaches basic needs for patients, like how to exercise, bathe and feed them. There are different labs and tests throughout the semester which all lead up to a state test. The state test consists of a writing portion and a skills portion. Passing both parts will certify the students to be a nursing assistant. 

Being a certified nursing assistant can be a stepping stone into other fields. Getting the certification in high school gives students a head start. Having work experience will make it easier to get into other programs and help with more job opportunities. This opportunity gives the chance for students to work in places like hospitals, nursing homes or in home care. Most CNA courses last about 4 weeks, so with the class being a whole semester is another chance to get more practice. Junior Lilly Martin said, “Because it’s a semester long class you get to learn at a slower pace rather than rushing.” Being hired as a CNA can also have other opportunities such as the workplace offering to pay for further education. Sophomore Addi Stowe said, “It’s a head start in our career. It helps us get places faster.” Most students in the class hope to continue their education in the medical field, this course helps set them up for success. 

Having this offered as high schoolers gives students an upper hand compared to others who do not have the same opportunity. It gives students the chance to go through the course and see if it’s something they want to continue pursuing or realizing that it’s not what they want to do in the future. Even if students end up disliking the pathway, lifelong skills are taught that can be used in the future. Whether it’s for the student, a future family or taking care of others around. A huge advantage is that the course is free. That way, students do not spend thousands of dollars on something if they end up disliking it. Taking this course offers the chance to get experience at no cost.

CNA instructor Ms. Becky Wood said, “Having these kinds of alternative ways of learning is really beneficial, and I think it just sets you guys on the right path to hopefully be more successful and not having to fall into the trap of having huge student loan debts.” Being able to take this course helps students find a path and understand how to pursue it. 

This course provides students with options beyond the traditional college education. It shows the importance of career exploration through hands-on learning, which can help spark interest in students while discovering their career paths. It takes a student’s interests and helps connect them with their academics to achieve a different level of success in the medical field.


Originally published in the January Print Edition

About the Contributor
Ella Williams, Writer
Ella Williams is a senior at Owatonna High School, and this is her second year in Magnet. Williams has been a dancer at Just For Kix for 15 years and is involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters and YoungLife. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and being outdoors. Over the summer she went to Clearwater Cove with YoungLife and worked at the Blast, a local ice cream shop. Williams plans to go to medical school after high school, and wants to go into pediatrics. She is looking forward to learning more about the activities that go on at the school while also navigating the new OHS building.