22:11 PM

Certified Nursing Assistants Instrumental in Providing Safe, Quality Care


Billings, MT - At St. Vincent, we care about and value our patients. Our providers and associates work together to provide safe, high-quality care for all.

Our Certified Nursing Assistants are instrumental in delivering that care at the bedside. CNA’s are often some of the most supportive caregivers our patients encounter during their stay in the hospital or at one of our clinics. In celebration of our CNA’s during National Nursing Assistants Week, June 18-24, 2020, we are shedding some light on their role here at St. Vincent.

“Being a CNA is a very high paced job, and that’s what I love about it,” said McKinna Olson, CNA. “We check patient’s vitals, assist them with showering or cleaning up, and walk them. We also help the nurses with tasks.”

CNA’s face many physical and mental challenges throughout their shift, McKinna shared. “Being a CNA is physically challenging because I usually average about 10,000-12,000 steps in a shift, and we do quite a bit of lifting,” she said. “We also have to come to work mentally prepared because patients are stressed and worried and we need to be able to support them however needed.I work on the oncology unit and sometimes it’s hard not to become attached to a patient. You simply can never predict how your day is going to go.”

Makai Birkeland loves being a certified nursing assistant because of the many rewarding and challenging parts of his day.

“CNA’s are an important part of the nursing team; working together to help our patients heal and recover. A lot can happen in a shift and things can be very busy with patients coming and going, but good teamwork and patients make it all worthwhile,” said Makai.

He enjoys working with other people and being in direct patient care allows him to further explore his education in the medical field.

“I am most proud as a CNA when I am able to make our patients smile, laugh, and feel comfortable,” he said.

When asked what keeps him coming back day after day, he said, “My great co-workers, awesome manager, and the wonderful patients I get to work with.”

Mary Cobetto has been a CNA since about 1997. She became a CNA to help bring joy and comfort to those in need.

“I am proud of all my moments as a CNA,” Mary said. “Being able to comfort a family as they say goodbye to a loved one. Or having everyone line the hallway, as a patient can finally go to rehab, to give them a standing ovation.”

Mary hopes the community understands that CNA’s are people too.

“We do care, and sometimes we cry. We have people we love, lives that we try to bring balance to our burdens. I get scared, scared of things unknown. I am human,” Mary acknowledged.

CNA’s are such an important part of our healthcare team. All of us at St. Vincent Healthcare would like to say, “Thank You!” to our CNA staff for their dedication to their work and providing safe, quality care to our patients every day.

About SCL Health

SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health of the people and communities we serve. Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in 1864, our health network provides comprehensive, coordinated care through eight hospitals, more than 180 physician clinics, home health, hospice, mental health, and safety-net services in Colorado and the Montana Wyoming region.