By: Hope Patterson Reporter

My granny has a home health aide that helps her during the day. I am very curious about what they are doing and how they are able to handle all of the tasks such as cleaning the client and changing them.  I think that I would like to become a state tested nursing assistant, STNA, so I can help her myself.

AJ NurseI interviewed Abbi Jacobs, 33, who started her nursing career as an STNA and she eventually completed the required schooling to become a registered nurse, an RN. The interview follows:

What do you have to do to become a STNA?  To be an STNA you have to take many classes — 72 total hours, then complete 16 hours of clinical time. Clinical time is usually completed at a nursing home.  After you pass the STNA class and clinical, you take a written exam for the state board of health, and also have to perform a skills exam in front of a state board of health examiner.

What is it like to be a STNA?  Being an STNA can be hard work. If you work in a nursing home, you are responsible for the residents’ activities of daily living. You help them with everything from eating to bathing and toileting. I thought is was very rewarding to be an STNA because I was able to spend time with my residents or patients and get to know them and their families. Sometimes I was the only one the nursing home residents had to talk to or visit with.

How much does a STNA make? A STNA makes from $8.92 per hour on the low end to $13.22 on the high end.

What type of degree do you need to have to be a STNA?  You don’t need a degree. You get a certification from the state after you pass the exam.

What do you like about being a STNA?  I liked being able to spend time with my residents and take care of them when they don’t have anyone else.

Why did you decide to be a RN?   I decided to be an RN because I wanted to continue to help people. As a nurse, I am able to do a lot more complex things with my patients. It’s very rewarding when I have a patient who is dying and I am able to take care of them and watch them heal and be able to go home.

Scott High School offers a Med Tech class that will prepare students to take the STNA test in their junior year.  Though most employeers require STNAs to be 18 or older, having the certification can help students get a job in housekeeping or dietary until they meet the age requirement.  If students successfully complete the Med Tech program, they will have earned first quarter credits at Toledo School of Practical Nursing.