Helping people heal priority for Patient Care Assistant student
Student of the Week: Jacob Moreno
Upon being recognized during National Nurse Assistants Week, which takes place from June 10-14, Jacob Moreno says prospective students have to be willing to take a leap of faith into a higher calling.
A 2017 graduate of Rio Grande City High School, Jacob said he initially attended the University of Texas-San Antonio to study architecture but then changed course to begin his degree in the medical field after one semester.
When he arrived at STC in 2019, Jacob said he opted to enter the college’s Patient Care Assistant Program to set the foundation for eventually entering the nursing program, he said.
Currently in the clinical portion of the program, Jacob says he is gaining experience by working with the elderly at senior care facility in Edinburg.
“It's very difficult, and it's very rigorous,” Jacob said about STC’s Patient Care Assistant Program. “The amount of work that you have to put in, the amount of effort that you put in, you have to mentally prepare yourself a lot, because this program is not for everybody.”
While in the Patient Care Assistant Program, students are trained to provide basic nursing care of adults, children, infants and the elderly. After successful completion of the Texas Department of Aging Nurse Aide Competency Examination, students will focus on acute care and specialized patient care.
“What they're teaching you is how to work with people, specifically people in need of care, people that can't really do all their daily needs for themselves,” Jacob said. “So while you're there, they're teaching you how to care for patients, how to assist them, and how to make their daily life go about as seamless as possible without them feeling like there's a big major change in their life.”
“What they're teaching you is how to work with people, specifically people in need of care, people that can't really do all their daily needs for themselves. So while you're there, they're teaching you how to care for patients, how to assist them, and how to make their daily life go about as seamless as possible without them feeling like there's a big major change in their life.”
Upon completion of the PCA Program, Jacob says he would then like to study for his Licensed Vocational Nurse certification and eventually obtain his Bachelor Degree in Nursing. His dream career would be working as a charge nurse in a hospital or other medical facility, he said.
“You have to be willing to take a leap of faith, because there's nothing that can really prepare you for what you're going to experience in this type of program,” Jacob said. “There's nothing that you can see, there's nothing you can do, there's no video you can watch that can prepare you for the kind of things that you're going to see and do.
“You have to have a very strong mindset that's going to tell you ‘I'm not going to quit’ because all you have is your mental strength,” he said. “You're going to experience things that shake you to your core, but you have to be willing to take the hits so that you realize that you are going to be a part of helping people get better.”