‘You’ve gotta have heart’ for CNA program at Perry DMACC

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Dallas County EMS Director Mike Tomason, left, led Wednesday's CNA class at the Perry DMACC in the dissection of pig hearts, courtesy of Tyson Fresh Meats.

Fresh swine hearts were the object lesson Wednesday for the dozen students in the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) class at the DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Academy.

DMACC Health Occupations Danielle Navarro, who probably saw a lot of hearts while earning her B.S.N. at Drake University, turned the class over for the day to Dallas County EMS Director Mike Thomason, who provided the pig hearts and delivered some ham of his own.

Thomason said the fresh-cut hearts were provided by Tyson Fresh Meats of Perry as he took students through the auricles, ventricles, atria and aorta.

DMACC’s 75-hour CNA program equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to care for patients or residents in a variety of long-term care facilities and to succeed on the Iowa Direct Care Worker registry exam. By Iowa law, CNAs must pass the exam in order to work in a long-term care facility.

The 75-hour course can also be followed by an Advanced CNA course and is also one of the prerequisites for the DMACC nursing program.

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