Mission of Love Charities offers free enrollment in a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.) Training class sponsored by Heritage Care. In partnership with Heritage Care, MOLC is putting individuals back to work in the healthcare profession. Keon Jones came to Mission of Love Charities (MOLC) for the employment readiness program because he had been displaced from his job in high-end retail. After the COVID 19 layoff, his job never returned. He needed a new career.
Finding out about and entering the Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.) Training Class was a fluid process for Jones. First, he found Mission of Love Charities’ Facebook page, then the website. Jones made a call to MOLC and was put in touch with Heritage Care to start his training. Heritage Care first qualified Jones financially, to verify he was a low-income applicant. Then he took a background check and passed. After these preliminary steps Jones was admitted to the eight-week class taught by a Registered Nurse (RN).
“Mission of Love Charities is a godsend,” said Jones. “The organization gave me an opportunity I didn’t know was there,” he added. Jones is a single parent of two boys, ages three and five. In addition to losing his job, his wife passed away and now he cares for his family alone. As a single parent, he needed a new opportunity to support his family.
Deborah Martinez, CEO of Mission of Love Charities, said, “We are here to help. COVID changed everything. Our mission has always been to educate, empower and advocate for the community. This is another example of what non-profits can do when they partner with other organizations.”
The eight-week C.N.A. Training class was a commitment of four hours per day, four days per week. Jones chose to take the class on site. To support workers, Heritage Care offers transportation and childcare vouchers. He took advantage of the transportation vouchers to take the train to his class but did not need the childcare vouchers.
The training class was intense learning sessions about how to become a competent Certified Nursing Assistant at a geriatric facility. In the class Jones learned about everything needed to properly care for a geriatric patient. He learned about medical terminology and how to use personal protection equipment. Jones said, “The class gives you all of the knowledge you need to be aware and progress. It keeps you in the loop, makes you more prepared. If something out of the ordinary comes at you, you are equipped to deal with it.”
Just one week after graduating from the C.N.A. Training Class, Jones was offered a position at Cadia Healthcare in Silver Springs, Maryland. The facility is just a half hour train ride from Jones’ home. “I did my clinicals at this facility,” said Jones. “I was knowledgeable. The Director of Nursing asked me if I wanted a job. I graduated at the end of December and I was employed January 3rd,” he added. Jones handled the quick transition from training to work with ease. He works the 11 p.m.– 7 a.m. shift and is already tasked with doing double shifts. Sometimes he comes in for the 3-11 p.m. shift and other times he stays for the 7 a.m.– 3 p.m. shift.
Jones finds there is a lot of variation in his work for Cadia Healthcare,. He has a positive, can-do attitude. “I look at this facility as a healing center, not as a nursing home,” remarked Jones. “You are the eyes and ears to the people who live there. You are responsible for making them feel as pleasant, safe, comfortable and as clean as possible,” he added. Caring for residents of the facility is more than a profession, for Jones it is a calling. “Their happiness depends on you. I make them feel like someone cares about them. I build personal relationships with the patients,” said Jones.
Since taking the free C.N.A Training class and becoming employed in his new career, Jones found his life has changed dramatically. Jones remarked, “It’s opened me up to things that are possible. It gives me a different level of energy. I’m 40 years old. Since taking the training class, it’s given me the idea that you’re not too old to start over. It’s OK to go into new territory, you can be fulfilled.“ In Jones’ new profession as a nurse, he has learned to ask questions if things aren’t entirely clear. He receives the answers, too. Jones is just as inquisitive as an employee as he was as a student. He is grateful for the opportunity to change his professional life and find a new career which helps him care for his children. Keon Jones was once a displaced worker and is now happy in his new profession in geriatric care.
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