Rae Losnes, Regina Estrada, and Faith Morico have worked together as LPNs at Silver Springs Care Center in Meriden for many years. Regina and Faith went through LPN school together at Vinyl Tech in Middletown. All three are currently enrolled in the on-line “Direct Care Worker Certificate Program” through Charter Oak State College, and they love it!
Rae says that taking these classes on-line “took some getting used to” and Faith added “It was scary at first, but it’s not as bad as I thought.” Regina said that none of them had been in school for awhile, but “Our kids are all in college, and we need to get back into this!”
They felt that there was “strength in numbers” and so the three of them decided to go through these courses together. They have completed the “Issues in Aging” and “Alzheimer’s and Dementia” courses, and are now enrolled in the “Hospice and Palliative Care” course.
They say that they are “definitely implementing things that we are learning.” Faith and Regina both work on the dementia wing, and say that “redirection and validation work with most of our residents…though not all of them.”
They are also sharing what they learn with their CNAs. Regina says that “The classes are giving me insight about how to interact with my residents, and also how to better interact with my staff. We teach them what we’re learning, and also try to lead by example. For instance, because we are now more educated about the disease process, we know that weight loss is to be expected. Sharing this information helps to de-stress the unit.”
The three of them are considering going on to become Registered Nurses. Regina says “I would not have considered that option if I hadn’t taken these courses. We’d encourage anyone to give this a try!”