WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The first class of Samaritan’s Nursing Assistant Training Program of 2022 has graduated.

Ten graduates completed the six-week program. Nine of the graduates received their certificates during a ceremony at Samaritan Medical Center.

The training program was designed to help people who want to join the healthcare workforce start their careers. Students attended one weekly classroom session and spent two days each week gaining experience on the floors by shadowing and following the regular hospital care routine.

Jennifer Lewis, RN, BSN, is the nurse responsible for the program and said it’s a good opportunity for those looking into nursing careers to get a real feel for what working with patients is like and to get comfortable with the roles required by the profession.

To join the program, candidates must have completed high school and must “also have a caring spirit, and the eagerness to make a difference,” Nurse Manager Becky Randall said.

Hanna Hoffman graduated in the class. She is a JCC student and felt like the program not only would give her the experience to start her career but also get her “foot at the door” as a future caregiver at Samaritan.

Rodney Dobson, another graduate, works as a Unit Clerk for ICU and PCU at Samaritan. Dobson plans on going to nursing school and saw an opportunity in the NA training program to feel what it’s like to deal with patients. “Now, I know I’m on the right path,” he said.

Samaritan CEO Tom Carman congratulated the class and Jacqueline Dawe, VP of Patient Care Services, took the occasion to thank the class for their efforts and for “choosing” Samaritan.