Chris Hornburg, RN
I am an instructor for the CNA/PCT program (certified nurse aide/patient care tech) here at LCC. As a clinical instructor and a registered nurse, I rely on my hearing. I teach, “If you don’t know what that noise is, FIND OUT.” I stress the importance of body alarms, bed alarms, and call lights in the nursing home/hospital setting. So learning I was going to have a student with interpreters in the class was worrisome for me. I kept asking how…How is she going to be there for her residents, hear a call light, hear a resident/patient call for help or hear a bed alarm? How am I going to teach her to be a CNA/PCT?
Those were just a few of many questions I had running in my mind. What I finally realized was that I needed to just stop. I didn’t need to have those answers to teach her what she needed to learn. When I focused on her, when I just watched and listened, it became clear. She wanted this. She was willing to work hard. She stayed after lab if needed. She wasn’t afraid to ask questions. She wasn’t helpless, and I feel she never presented herself as having a disability. Her interpreters were amazing. She “listened” better than most of the students.
It was enlightening to watch her interaction with residents, and touching to see her sign her name to a resident who once worked as an interpreter. She works two jobs–one of which she gets up and does before clinical, which starts at 7 a.m. She has never complained to me, in any form. She smiles readily, has a quick wit and a wonderful sense of humor. Her laugh makes me smile on the inside. I don’t know if the words “I can’t” are in her vocabulary.
So even though some of my questions are unanswered as of yet, I have no doubt that this student will make all her goals a reality. I find myself in awe of her perseverance and will forever be humbled to be a small part of her journey. She is just one of many that remind me of why I teach at LCC. She has given me the gift of wanting to try harder, complain less, and just remember that nothing is impossible until you decide not to try.