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Meet The Teacher – Gwen Pilon – Nursing Assistant Program
Classes | Faculty
Oct 6, 2020

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Nursing profession is projected to grow at 7 percent in the next 10 years.  That is much faster than the average growth for other professions in healthcare and other industries.  One of the first steps into the Nursing field, and potentially becoming a Registered Nurse (RN), is to become a Nursing Assistant.  If you’ve thought about a career in healthcare that helps people in their daily lives, Sno-Isle TECH has the perfect program for you.

About the Nursing Assistant Course

A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) helps patients with direct care and activities in their daily life.  Some of the great things that a CNA can do include: gathering supplies for a Registered Nurse or Medical Doctor, obtaining vital signs of a patient, completing important documents, stocking supplies, helping with medical procedures, and more.  All work of a CNA is completed under the direct supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

The class at Sno-Isle TECH will prepare you for the Washington State certification exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.  In the class you will learn basic patient care inside the classroom and lab, and then give that care to patients in a long-term care setting during your clinical internship. There are many opportunities in the medical field, and with this course you’ll be immediately employable after certification.  This class can earn you 10 college credits at Everett Community College or 17 credits at Edmonds Community College, via the Dual Credit programs at each college.

Students in this course will have the opportunity to complete an internship during second semester working in a local healthcare facility in your community.  Students must complete a high school health class and biology class before attending this program, and also declare proof of insurance for an internship.

The Nursing Assistant course is a great starting point to begin a long career in healthcare.  In this course, you’ll learn to be part of a team, to communicate well, and gain the technical skills to successfully transition into further medical professions.  This full course includes the basic essentials of healthcare, interpersonal skills, medical terminology, the structure and function of the human body, legal and ethical responsibilities, employability skills, and safety in the workplace.  You will learn emergency procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and will be able to demonstrate technical skill competency in real-life healthcare situations.  The Washington state exam for certification is at the end of 2nd Semester at Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center.


Meet the Instructor

Gwen Pilon brings a storied career with 17 years of experience in healthcare to the curriculum at Sno-Isle TECH.  She is a registered nurse, has worked in pediatrics, neonatal intensive care, pediatric and adult clinics, urgent care, telephone consulting, camp nursing, staff education, home health and hospice.  With a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing from Trinity Western University, and a Master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Washington Bothell, she brings passion to the program with the belief of empowering others with information and investing in the future of healthcare.

With virtual school this year due to COVID-19, Pilon isn’t swayed from empowering students with knowledge.  “The biggest challenge with teaching virtually will be learning the “hands on” skills required for the CNA testing at the end of the year,” she says.  The Sno-Isle TECH curriculum will be using a great online tool that has detailed teaching videos.  These will help give the students an understanding of the skill in preparation for getting back in the classroom and practicing them in person.

Gwen chooses “creative” as her one-word teaching style, and she likes looking for innovative ways to present content that are engaging and interactive.  One of her favorite places to find new methods of interactive teaching is to follow teacher groups on Facebook to “crowd source” new methods, especially in an online format.  She feels she can invest in the next generation of healthcare providers, and is excited to join Sno-Isle TECH to teach more.

Before coming to Sno-Isle TECH, Gwen was working in home health and hospice.  She was a hospice RN care manager and visited patients at their place of residence. She also worked in the referral intake office for home health and hospice.  Outside of the classroom Pilon enjoys doing creative and crafty things like knitting, painting rocks, and coloring.  One of her favorite places to vacation is Disneyland, but with the restrictions on travel this year, she has completed at least ten 1000+ piece puzzles since the beginning of the COVID lockdown.  She also enjoys cooking and baking, especially trying out new recipes.

Program Background

The Nursing Assistant course is designed to offer students hands-on experience and a head-start on a career in healthcare.  Beyond the knowledge gained through the course, these additional benefits are available:

  • Course Credits – High School Credits: 3.0 Elective credits
  • Equivalency Credit: 1 Lab Science credit CTE Dual Credit
  • Everett Community College: (Must have a C or better average grade)
    • 10 credits Nursing 100
  • PNW Consortium of Colleges: 17 credits available (Must have a B or better average grade)
    • Intro to Healthcare 116: 4 credits
    • Medical Terminology 104: 3 credit
    • Certified Nursing Assistant – Clinical Externship (AHE164): 1-2 credits
    • NA Patient Care 162: 6 credits
    • NA HIV 170: 1 credit
    • NA PC Basics 129: 3 credits Clinical Internship: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 6:00 AM to 2:45 PM. One Friday, and two sequential weekends.

The course will be offered at two different times during the day from September to June:

First Session: Monday – Friday 7:55-10:25 am

Second Session: Monday – Friday 11:10 am -1:40 pm

Course Requirements

  • Prerequisites – Successful completion of Biology and Health in high school
  • Textbooks (provided by the school) – Mosby’s Textbook for Nursing Assistants (10th Ed.), Workbook for Mosby’s Textbook for Nursing Assistants (10th Ed.), Clinical Skills for Nursing Assisting (Elsevier, Online resource), LMS: Online course teaching and materials will be based in Schoology, and a variety online and multimedia resources will be utilized to supplement the primary text.
  • Required Uniform – Scrubs: Prints may be worn in classroom only. Solid colors with matching top and bottom for clinical days. A wristwatch with capabilities to show seconds. An ID Badge (provided by Sno-Isle TECH). Hair ties for long hair.

If your favorite student has wanted to learn from an exceptional instructor and earn credits for later study in healthcare, the Nursing Assistant program at Sno-Isle TECH is exactly what they are looking for.

For more information on the Nursing Assistant program, visit the Sno-Isle TECH website.