Newark-based Education Program Helps Two Women Pursue Higher Education

Chambers was inspired by her mother, a home health aide, and would see her mom assist those in need, “To see the love and compassion that she had for her patients, I wanted to do the same thing,” Chambers said. “And then I want to pursue more education because she never finished going to nursing programs. So I’m trying to live for both of us.”

Reese was young when she began taking care of her grandmother and helping her relatives, “I have a passion for this deep down. I feel like I’m not at work, I’m at home. Like I leave home to go to my real home,” Reese said.

During the Patient Care Technician program, both women managed to multitask between being a student and a mother. Chambers was working an overnight shift at FedEx and would leave work at 6 am to take her children to school and then to school herself. Reese had become a mother at the time she enrolled. 

"Lavel Chambers and Denayah Reese were good listeners in class. They were hard-working ladies with humble spirits. Both were attentive to the reviews at the end of the module, and they never got bored repeating the review more than once or twice. They were always following my coaching, " said PCT Instructor Dr. Maha Koltowski. "I kept telling them they have to further their careers because they are able, and it is worth It."

“Everyone at NCCTI is caring and has compassion for everyone,” Reese said. “I didn’t think that they would actually take the time to care what my name was or anything. They came to the class every day making sure everyone was OK.

After completing the program. Chambers and Reese were employed at the Clara Maass Medical Center and have been working throughout the pandemic.

Chambers works as a nurse’s aide in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Clara Maass Medical Center where she immediately had to draw blood and perform EKGs, two of the skills she learned at NCCTI. She also takes blood pressures and temperatures, cleaning and repositioning patients , and transporting patients to other units. 

Reese is a nursing assistant on the cardiac floor at Clara Maass Medical Center. She takes vital signs of patients, EKGs to check their hearts, draws blood, transfers patients to the operating room , and discharges patients.

Reese said  Koltowski taught students about bedside care, “She taught us how to properly go in and talk to the patient. She taught us how to clean them,” Reese said. “Everything she taught us helped.”

Reese added, “My favorite part of my job is seeing the patients go home because I know that my coworkers and I did a great job caring for the patient. I love to see them go home. I like to see them get into the car with their families and hug them. It’s a good feeling inside.”

Both women plan to enroll at Essex County College. Chambers wants to enroll in the licensed practical nurse (LPN) program and to obtain her bachelor’s degree and become a registered nurse (RN). Reese hopes to become an RN and ultimately a nurse practitioner (NP), which is an advanced practice registered nurse who is trained to assess patient needs, order and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests, diagnose disease and formulate and prescribe treatment plans. An NP requires a master’s degree.

At the same time, Chambers has been inducted into the nation's largest leadership honor society, The National Society of Leadership and Success, and is on track to graduate from Essex County College with an associate’s degree early. Reese plans to begin the nursing program at Essex County College in fall 2022.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-06-28 04:06:41 -0700