MACON, Ga. — In response to a shortage of caregivers in Georgia, one Macon woman decided to open up a long-term care facility where she trains and encourages people to enter the field.
From checking blood pressure to performing CPR, these are just some of the skills students will learn in Patricia Duncan's new certified nursing aide program.
She's been a nurse for nearly 30 years and has taught medication aides across the state for the past nine years.
"Everybody's saying the same thing, 'We need help.' Prior to the pandemic, there was a huge shortage, but after the pandemic, it's just unbelievable -- we are critical now," Duncan said.
Duncan opened The Wonderland International Training School about a month ago. She's using the facility to do her part in fulfilling the need for caregivers in Georgia.
"I've been doing healthcare since I was 12, taking care of a grandmother that had dementia. I just looked at it like, 'It could be me, it could be me.' Nothing exempts us from needing care -- nothing," Duncan said.
The CNA training program will be hybrid with three weeks of online instruction and two weeks of clinical training at the school. Then, students will spend 24 hours with a contracted facility to perform their clinical exams...
"There are needs everywhere -- tons and tons of needs everywhere. I am really excited about that because people are not limited to where they can actually go to work," Duncan said.
Once CNA students pass, they can work at a hospital or an assisted living community instead of being just limited to a nursing home.
"I'm just hoping we will be able to put some fresh blood into the community. We want people to succeed. We want people to get jobs that have never gotten jobs before," Duncan said.
Duncan says they're looking for people who are passionate about caregiving. Duncan says they still need to get their CNA license approved. They hope to acquire it by December. Then, they can start offering the classes once that happens.