Kathy and Jessica Pischke enjoy the typical mother-daughter activities — shopping, doing lunch and catching the latest chick flick. But, unlike the typical mother-daughter activities, they also enjoy studying for their I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) Nursing Assistant class at Moraine Park Technical College.
The West Bend duo enrolled for the Nursing Assistant program in fall 2010, both to pursue future careers in health care. Kathy, Jessica’s mother, joined the I-BEST Nursing Assistant program because she wants to work in health care for the elderly as a physical therapist or assistant. She wants to make sure they are treated with the kindness and respect they deserve and can’t wait to put her nursing assistant certification to good use when she graduates this December.
Daughter Jessica always knew she wanted to go into medicine to help others. She graduated from West Bend East High School in May and became interested in Moraine Park when Kathy brought home information on the nursing assistant program. Jessica also completes the I-BEST program in December and plans to continue her education at Moraine Park to become a registered nurse.
A stay-at-home mom for the past 17 years, Kathy always wanted to go back to school. “Heading back into the classroom was a pretty big leap for me, but it’s been great so far,” she said. The Pischke ladies have class together every Monday, Tuesday and Friday. “Jessica has such a busy lifestyle, so it’s nice to count on seeing her at least three times a week,” Kathy said.
Jessica agrees. “It’s pretty unique to go to school with your mom; it’s definitely bringing us closer together.”
What has especially stood out for Jessica and Kathy are the instructors. “Our instructors are phenomenal,” said Kathy. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I would understand half of the things in the textbook. They take the time to explain new concepts and materials and that helps me feel more confident in my skills.” The class is unique as it is team taught by two instructors, a nursing instructor who delivers the content and a basic education instructor who focuses on more general academic skill building.
Both are impressed with the hands-on technology in the new nursing simulation center on Moraine Park’s West Bend campus. Jessica is excited to continue her nursing training and looks forward to experiencing the new patient simulators. To date, they have been learning skills such as taking vital signs, bathing and dressing their patients, making beds and other direct resident care.
“This has been a great start,” said Jessica. She said attending Moraine Park is the perfect way to get her feet wet and experience a glimpse of the nursing field before continuing in her training.
“They have made a great team,” said Nancy Pusch, Moraine Park basic education instructor. “It is awesome to see how they watch out for each other in class. Each is concerned about the other’s success in the program. Kathy has gone out of her way to organize out-of-class study groups, offering to create extra study opportunities for all the students. Jessica has brought a fine knowledge of computer skills to the course, offering to help others who struggle with creating PowerPoints. I appreciate the strengths each brings to the program.”
“This is a great opportunity, and we are glad to be experiencing it together,” Jessica and Kathy said.
The I-BEST Nursing Assistant program is funded by the Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development, Inc., through a Skills Jump Start grant. For more information on the I-BEST Nursing Assistant class through Moraine Park, contact Pusch, at 262-335-5821, or Karrie Bruegman-May, Nursing Assistant instructor at 262-335-5709.