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My Experience as A Healthcare College Student

Guest written by: Tiarra Culp, CNA/Kindcare Recruiting Specialist

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work for a healthcare staffing agency while being a college student? How do you balance to staying on top of classes (or other responsibilities) with being a young adult? As a college student, there are so many expectations that need to be fulfilled which can put a lot of weight on anyone’s shoulders.

Kindcare has the answer. My name is Tiarra Culp, and I have worked for Kindcare for a total of seven years. When I first started with Kindcare, I was fresh out of high school and enrolled in my first year of college at North Manchester University. For my freshman year, I was a full-time student taking seven classes throughout my school week. I joined two clubs as well, and I was trying to still make time to work. Due to college, I had to leave my current job at the time so I could focus on my schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

After job searching for three months, a Kindcare recruiter reached out to me because a close friend had referred me to them. Just by chance, I was hired within that same week. I had never worked at an agency before, so I was a bit nervous. I did not know what to expect when I got hired. I just knew I needed a job that was willing to be flexible with my work hours and be willing to work with my already busy school schedule.

Student Life Because Kindcare is a staffing agency, I was able to build my own schedule based on the hours and shifts that were available. Since I had classes Monday through Thursday, the best times for me to work were Fridays and weekends. There was an easy-to-use self-scheduling app where I could view the shifts that were available that week to pick up. I could allow myself time to study or attend an event. I could still experience college life!

Working for Kindcare not only helped me keep a steady college and work-life balance, but it taught me how to become the best CNA I could be. Being an agency caregiver gifts opportunities to meet new people and make important connections in the healthcare world. I gained trust and respect from the facilities I worked at, and it felt good to be requested by name to help give care. Caregivers from the facilities I helped staff were willing to show me new skills that made our job easier in exchange for teamwork.

Working Agency Agency caregivers help facilities fill in staff as needed to make sure residents’ needs are being met. Agency staff members are held to higher expectations while working due to being an outside source of staffing support. To make sure I was set up to have a great shift, I tried to be extra accommodating to the facility staff. I would sometimes show up at the facility twenty minutes before my shift began so I could be paired with a caregiver to orient me on the hall that I would be working on. I also made sure to ask important questions before beginning the shift. The questions I usually asked were the list of the following:

  1. What hall or unit should I be on today?

  2. Where can I find the list of residents I will be caring for?

  3. Where is the storage closet, clean linen, dirty linen, and waste closets located?

  4. Are there showers today? If so, how do I gain access to the shower room or shower chart?

  5. Are there any codes or procedures I need to be informed about before our shift today?

  6. When are mealtimes for the residents?

  7. Who do I refer to for additional questions?

  8. Do we have a nurse report today?

  9. What charting system should I use?

  10. Do we have time for a walk-through report on the residents I will be caring for today?

Asking these types of questions helped me get prepared for my shift, step up my game, and prevented me from falling behind - especially if this was my first time working at this facility. Facilities often expect agency staff to jump in whenever and wherever needed, so preparing ahead was key. Residents also appreciate an agency staff member being prepared, as we are strangers coming into their homes. A new agency staff member who has the knowledge and skills to jump in and deliver the proper care will gain important trust from residents.

Working with Kindcare

College is supposed to be the best four years of your young adult life. It helps set us up for our future healthcare career endeavors. Finding a job that works with you instead of against you is like finding a needle in a haystack. However, they do exist. Don’t waste your college years slaving over a high-stress, low-paying job and worrying about college. Instead, work with an agency like Kindcare where you can have that work-life balance, attend school, get good grades, enjoy being on campus, and graduate on time! With Kindcare, you can set up your four-year plan with free time to still enjoy life while also working, gaining experience, and making new connections. Apply today, and I can help you get started!

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