This week, June 21 through June 25, 2021, Cooper is celebrating our nursing associates (NAs), companions, and patient care technicians in Patient Care Services at Cooper. Our thanks to Kathy Devine, DrNP, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, for her remarks on behalf of the entire senior team, and Kayla Hoffman, MSN, RN, CPN, a Clinical Educator II Tech Generalist, who helped answer our questions about these important team members at Cooper.
We are so thankful for this incredible team of skilled and compassionate individuals for all you do in the lives and health of our patients!
“I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you and my deepest appreciation to all Cooper nurse associates, patient care technicians, and patient companions. You are such valued and respected members of our care team, ensuring our patients remain safe, comforted, and well-cared for.
In the hustle and bustle of daily operations, we often forget to say thanks for your partnership and flexibility, as you consistently rise to the occasion to get the job done! Additionally, our patients share their gratefulness for your genuine caring and compassionate manner, which makes a huge impact in their recovery from their illness or injury.
I hope you enjoy the activities planned for this special week, as we celebrate your contribution to the patient care services team and your dedication to our patients and families. Thank you.”
Kathy Devine, DrNP, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
What are the roles of patient care tech and NAs at Cooper?
The role of our patient care technicians and NAs includes assisting members of the health care team in providing direct, indirect, and non-patient care responsibilities. This can include taking patient vital signs, performing EKGs, collecting specimens, and assisting patients in activities of daily living (ADLs). They can also perform additional tasks within their scope of practice as assigned by the nurse or provider.
When might patients expect to interact with these team members during their stay at Cooper?
Patients can expect to interact with patient care technicians, nurse associates, and patient companions daily throughout their stay. Our team can be found on any inpatient unit throughout the hospital and other patient-care areas.
How does someone become a critical care tech (CCT) or NA at Cooper?
To become a CCT or NA at Cooper, an individual must have completed a patient care tech program or equivalent or be actively enrolled in a nursing program. Cooper, in collaboration with Camden County College and Impact Charity Services, provides Cooper employees the opportunity to advance their health care career. Cooper provides accommodations for Camden County College to instruct multiple employees to become patient care technicians. The first cohort ended in the beginning of 2021 and the second cohort started on May 4, 2021. We are hopeful that a third cohort will begin in the fall of 2021.
Our Patient Care Technician Program is designed to prepare students to train for one of the fastest growing professions in the health care industry today. The program focuses on building a complete and solid foundation for students in both classroom theory and hands-on clinical components. Upon completion, students build a skillset in basic and complex key concepts of anatomy and physiology, cardiac function, performing EKGs, growth and development, phlebotomy, nursing care, nutrition, therapeutic communication, psychology, and critical thinking.
Success Story: Kevin Bellmon
Kevin Bellmon, formerly a food and nutrition host here at Cooper, has always expressed interest in wanting to do more in the health care field, always looking for the opportunity to learn something new. When Kevin found out that there was a new tech generalist educator, Kayla Hoffman, within the hospital, he made sure to find her to ask if there was an opportunity available for him to become a CCT. When the opportunity arose for this collaboration with Cooper, Impact Charity Services, and Camden County College, Kevin was the first person who came to mind. As soon as Kayla informed Kevin that the opportunity was available, he made sure to immediately apply. Kevin was very persistent, and just four months later he has successfully completed the program and accepted a CCT position on N7.
Kevin was willing to do whatever it took to complete this program, even if it meant working all day at Cooper and attending the program at night. When you saw Kevin in the hallway during work, it was almost guaranteed that he would mention the program, what he was currently learning, and how he was studying.
When asked to comment on his experience, Kevin stated, “This has changed my life. I did not have the opportunity to go to college, so this gave me the chance.”
We cannot wait to see what the future holds for Kevin in his new position as a CCT.