More than 200 apply for temporary nursing assistant program

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UOG-Hattori-Uchima
UOG Dean of Student Health and TNAP program director Dr. Margaret Hattori-Uchima explains why they're focusing on recruiting local residents to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. (file photo)

The temporary nursing assistant program, or TNAP, which aims to recruit volunteers to help COVID-19 patients in hospitals, has already received an overwhelming number of 200-plus applications and had to temporarily stop accepting any more applications for this batch.

Residents are still encouraged to submit applications as the University of Guam is looking into opening up another batch for the program around December, depending on the island’s COVID-19 status.

COVID-19 cases are still on the rise and with the continuing number of patients filling up hospitals, assistance is needed more than ever.

Through funding from the Governor’s office — the University of Guam, in partnership with the Department of Public Health and Social Services, the Guam Memorial Hospital, Guam Regional Medical City and the Healthcare Services of the Pacific — developed the TNAP.

UOG Dean of Student Health and TNAP program director Dr. Margaret Hattori-Uchima explains why they’re focusing on recruiting local residents to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know the hospitals need help and it’s a way to get local help because you know we heard that GMH has to bring in nurses off-island and now they’re bringing in some nursing assistants,” Hattori-Uchima said.

She added: “This program is innovative. It hasn’t been tried here although it’s been tried in the states. Like I said, 8-16 hours and we are stepping out of our comfort zone. But I think we all have to do something to try to help the island.”

The TNAP program requirements include:

= 32 hours of online training;
= 16 hours skills training at employer facilities such as Public Health, GMH, GRMC, and HSP;
= Must take mandatory Basic Life Support classes at UOG;
= Must be a high school graduate or completed a GED; and
= Police and court clearances may be required.

According to Hattori-Uchima, though TNAPs will be given a temporary CNA Certification, it will only be used during the pandemic and they will not be eligible to take the Certified Nursing Exam once the program has ended.

However, UOG and GCC are looking into acquiring funding to open up training divisions in the beginning of next year.

These are for TNAPs interested in pursuing CNA further and will be able to complete the rest of the required Certified Nursing Assistant hours.

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