In 2015, Arbour-Fuller Hospital began a quality improvement initiative for their mental health specialists (MHS). A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program aligned the MHS’ behavioral health skills training with a clinical focus to enhance care for their increasingly medically-compromised patients.

Working in collaboration with MassBay Community College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, the class participants were overseen by Kitty Quick, RN, Director of Nursing at Arbour-Fuller Hospital and an Adjunct Instructor at MassBay.

The first CNA/MHS group is now attending a Super CNA grant program offered through Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce. The program allows staff to build on existing knowledge and skills to become more active members of the multidisciplinary treatment team, assist with lateral mentoring, and serve as extenders of the nursing staff. The program also motivates participants to pursue other areas of education including nursing; many of the staff is currently milieu managers. The next CNA class begins in August. Classes will continue until all MHS at Arbour-Fuller Hospital have had an opportunity to attend.

From AHS News, July/August 2016