For Rayven Felix, becoming a certified nursing assistant was about more than just a job; it was about family.
When she signed up for CNA training at Kellogg Community College in 2019, it wasn’t just to find a better job – though she did that, too – but to learn the skills necessary to provide end-of-life care for her grandmother.
“I always vowed to my grandmother I would never let her go to a nursing home and I would do anything to make sure she didn’t,” Felix said. “My goal was to become my grandmother’s caregiver so she could live her last days comfortable in her own home with someone she knew and was comfortable with.”
Felix, 27, of Battle Creek, signed up for the CNA training program through KCC’s Innovative Accelerated Credentialed Training (iACT) initiative after seeing a post about the training on Facebook. The eight-week program is offered through the College at no cost for Battle Creek residents who meet certain income guidelines.
Unfortunately her grandmother passed away while Felix was still in training. But she was dedicated and determined to finish – even after she gave birth two days later. Felix delivered her youngest son on a Thursday and was back in training Monday.
“Her passing gave me the push to keep going on with the program and determination to not quit,” Felix said.
Before her training, Felix, now a mother of three, was making $6.28 per hour as a slot attendant at a local casino.
After completing her training in August 2019, Felix was offered a position as a CNA at a pair of local senior care facilities, but chose to look for a job in a hospital setting instead. By January she’d accepted a position as an acute care assistant on the medical floor at Bronson Battle Creek, and today works full-time making more than $15 per hour offering patient care services and assisting nurses.
Today, she makes a living doing for others and their families what she started out to do for her own.
“The thing I like most about my job is being able to give families and patients the relief of being in good hands,” she said, “and being taken care of to the best of our ability.”
Felix enjoys the work so much she’s considered applying to the Nursing Program at KCC to continue her education and provide care at another level, though those plans are on hold right now due to COVID-19.
In the CNA Program, she especially appreciated the hands-on experience working with her peers in the lab on campus and the clinical experience gained at an actual nursing home.
“I’m very glad I did it,” Felix said of the program. “The experience of being able to care for individuals has always been a passion of mine, and I’m finally doing it.”