Sophia Palomar shares her experience as a CNA

by Jessica Young, Vicki Heisser  |   

Sophia Palomar just graduated high school in May of 2020. A great accomplishment on its own, but for her, that was only part of it. She also completed the PWSC’s Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) course and passed her exam. Now she is working, along with her father, as a CNA at Providence Valdez Extended Care Center. We caught up with her to see how it’s going, especially under current circumstances.

Explaining a day in her life, she shared, “We go in with our own cloth mask and then we get a hospital mask. Before we enter the building, we take a QR code scan, and it makes sure we haven't had COVID symptoms over the past 14 days. We also take our temperature before we enter the building. As soon as we go in, we wash our hands.” So begins a 12-hour shift for Sophia. 

Though the hours are long, Sophia is enjoying working and growing as an individual. “The highlight is definitely the residents…because some of them are so thankful that you're there and it makes you feel really good. I feel like I've learned and grown as a person while working there because I've noticed that I've taken the little things for granted, like using the restroom by myself, eating by myself. It makes me more grateful for everything that I'm able to do.”

Sophia has also seen the things she learned in her CNA course at PWSC come into play on the job. “We…learned to be kind and to be patient, and I think learning that in class was very useful because we're constantly told to be patient with the residents and I think that is a key thing we learned because we have to be patient every day because everybody's so different.”

For Sophia, each day brings new rewards and challenges, and she’s learned, as she says, to “pray and…go over my blessings…because sometimes work is really challenging, but there's a lot to be thankful for.”

Another Certified Nurse Aide course is being offered the Fall 2020 semester!

Classes will meet Monday-Thursdays from 4-9p.m. The course starts September 14 and ends October 29. Space is limited, so register today! Call PWSC Student Services for more information or assistance with registration at 907-834-1600 (8a.m.-5p.m. AKST).