Red Cross NAT Training Changes Lives

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Andrea Johnson’s Red Cross NAT training offered her new opportunities.

The American Red Cross is a premier provider of Nurse Assistant Training, preparing students to play an important part in today’s health care.

Nurse Assistants learn to provide quality care for residents in long-term care facilities, hospitals, home health care and hospice settings. The Red Cross program is designed with input from educators, caregivers and industry representatives from across the United States.

Andrea Johnson, Wisconsin, is a nursing assistant at an assisted living facility where she spends her days tending to the basic needs of her patients. She gathers vital information about her patients’ conditions that she shares with her nurse supervisor. The ability to use her skills to help those in need in a career with full benefits is motivating and rewarding.

Johnson trained as a nurse assistant through the Red Cross. She found out about the Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) program and the scholarships that were available. She applied, was accepted into the program and received a scholarship from State Farm, which was a significant turning point for her. The knowledge gained and training received provided her access to new opportunities.

“My entire life changed,” Johnson said. “I had the great opportunity to meet Sarah, my instructor. Her sensitivity, care, responsibility and respect made me the professional woman I am now.”

PROGRAM DETAILS Day classes are available and students learn the nationally developed curriculum in a hands-on environment. The training meets or exceeds state standards. Through lectures, DVDs, role playing and laboratory practice, students learn skills such as vital signs, bathing, dressing and positioning. Graduates are prepared to pass state tests and be successfully employed. Training requirements for the Certified Nurse Assistant varies from state to state. For more details, including how to register for training, visit the Training and Certification information on this web site.

STATE FARM SCHOLARSHIP State Farm® has awarded a $15,000 grant to fund scholarships for the Nurse Assistant Training Program being offered by the American Red Cross in three Wisconsin communities. The program and the scholarships will be available in Green Bay, La Crosse and Altoona. The nurse assistant training is part of the health care training programs offered by the Red Cross.

For more details and to apply, please click here.

April Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Arnold

MaxCongratulations to Linda Arnold of Milwaukee on being named one of the April 2015 American Red Cross Volunteers of the Month!

Intrigued by what nurses could do to help clients affected by disasters, Linda joined the Red Cross in February of 2008. Linda explains, “my daughter had volunteered for Red Cross when she was an undergrad at UW-Milwaukee (First Aid Service Team), so I checked it out and met April Eagleboy who was in charge of staffing and new volunteers at the time. She [April] was a good recruiter, and I took a number of classes at the Red Cross “Institute” a month later. In April there was a tornado outbreak in Atlanta and I was deployed. It was only a 6-day deployment, but by the time it ended, I was hooked on the Red Cross.”

Volunteering about 40-hours per week, Linda works in Disaster Cycle Services as the Health Services Lead for the state. Linda has taken the initiative to build the department by making policies and procedures strong, repeatable, and expandable. She has also invested a great deal of time building capacity among Health Services volunteers. Linda has set standards, developed organizational charts, and established efficient chains of command. Because of Linda, Health Services is stronger both in our region and nationally as well!

When asked about her favorite moment with the Red Cross Linda explained, “I would say it is not a moment, but a deployment. I was sent to Super Storm Sandy in New York just before the storm hit. I was on one of the last flights into New York before the storm. I was sent to Long Island to teach and mentor the Health Services Lead and to manage Health Services there. When I arrived, there were 10 shelters open with 1500 people in them. We worked together that night to get medications for 80 people who critically needed them. We worked all night with a pharmacy that had a small generator and was willing to help and asked the nearest open hospital if they could send a doctor to write prescriptions for the people who needed them…I stayed approximately two months and developed a long lasting friendship with the volunteer I mentored.”

Linda encourages everyone to consider volunteering their time with the Red Cross, “You can find something you enjoy doing by volunteering with the Red Cross. You can feel good about the work that you do. You can spend as much or little time as you have to give. You can make friends with people you would have never met otherwise. You can use your lifelong skills to learn new ones. You will have precious memories from working with the people who have been affected by disaster and may see parts of the country you’ve never seen before. You can be part of the solution!” Thank you, Linda, for sharing your talents and time with the American Red Cross!

To learn more about how you can get involved, visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer or contact the office of Volunteer Services at volunteerwisconsin@redcross.org.

April Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Kohler

Linda KCongratulations to Linda Kohler, of Larson, on being named one of the April 2015 American Red Cross Volunteers of the Month!

Linda joined the Red Cross in November of 2010. “I wanted to volunteer because I wanted to get out of the house, but continued to volunteer because of the staff at the Red Cross,” explained Linda.

Volunteering about 12 hours per week, Linda supports the front desk at both the Oshkosh and Waupaca offices. As her nominator, Nick Cluppert, wrote, “Linda is always willing to help however she can. She puts on a smile and welcomes everyone that comes to the office. Linda is always eager to take on special projects from staff to help out by making phone calls, researching information and putting together packets of information for upcoming activities. If it was not for our front desk volunteers, our small staff would have a difficult time getting these things done. Linda really helps the office function smoothly and offers different perspectives on how things might be able to get accomplished.”

Linda’s work impacts the value of Red Cross every day. Not only is Linda a valuable resource for staff, but an important welcoming face of the organization. Nick explained, “Linda has a great sense of humor that she brings to the office every time she comes in. If anyone is having a bad day you can bet that Linda will bring a smile to your face. Linda is also very good at working with the clients and guests that come into our offices.”

“My favorite part of volunteering is being able to help people that need it. The staff makes me feel like I am part of their team and I feel really at home. Every day I’m here is a memorable moment even with the little things that happen. I would definitely recommend volunteering with the Red Cross. It will enrich your life and make a big difference, just as it has mine!” – Linda Kohler

Thank you, Linda, for sharing your talents and time with the American Red Cross!To learn more about how you can get involved, visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer or contact Volunteer Services at volunteerwisconsin@redcross.org.

No April Fool’s Day Joke

We are proud of our American Red Cross responders! Here’s just a brief one-day recap:

  • For a large apartment building fire on S. Cesar E Chavez Drive in Milwaukee, we opened a shelter for residents displaced by fire. Many of whom, had to jump to a neighboring buildings before being rescued by fire fighters. We are now working one-on-one with them to address emergency needs and longer term living solutions as the building is, now, rubble.
  • An apartment building fire in Taylor (Jackson County) has taken the life of an elderly gentleman. We are assisting survivors with lodging, food, clothing and emotional support during this difficult time.
  • We also responded to fires in Sheboygan County and to a family of six in Cudahy (Milwaukee County) after fire destroyed their homes too.
  • Altogether 32 people have been assisted with their immediate disaster-caused needs.
  • National Deployments! Three of our trained responders, Brenda Haney of Deforest and Cheryl and Doug Mason of Chippewa Falls, are deploying to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

 “It is days like today that leave me in awe at the dedication of wonderful volunteers and staff who give so much of their time and energy to help people in need. They respond day and night, rain or shine, to bring help and hope to so many. If you run into a disaster volunteer or staff member in the next few days please thank them for what they do.” Marytha Blanchard, WI Disaster Officer

Doug and Cheryl Mason are Oklahoma bound!

Doug and Cheryl Mason are Oklahoma bound!

#BeAHero for Red Cross Month (Cape Not Required)

Be an everyday hero during Red Cross Month. By donating blood or platelets, you can become a hero to patients in need.

The need is constant for heroes to give blood for patients at about 2,600 hospitals served by the Red Cross nationwide. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood – from cancer patients to accident victims to premature babies with complications.

There is no substitute for donated blood. You can also support the Red Cross by signing up to host a blood drive, volunteering your time, asking others to donate or creating a SleevesUp virtual blood drive.

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March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by former President Franklin Roosevelt. Since then, every president has called on people across America to support the organization’s humanitarian mission in March. The Red Cross has helped people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies for more than 130 years.

To learn more about how you can become involved in the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross, download the Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

Needed: Donors of all Blood Types to Help Maintain a Diverse Blood Supply

The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to help ensure a sufficient and diverse blood supply by giving blood this February.

Since the beginning of the year, widespread flu and inclement winter weather in some parts of the country have prevented many regular donors from making or keeping their blood donation appointments. Healthy and diverse blood donors are needed to help maintain a sufficient blood supply.

Diversity among blood donors is important because red blood cells carry markers that determine one’s blood type, and certain blood types are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups. Blood must be matched very closely for those patients with rare blood types or for those who need repeated transfusions. Patients are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone with a similar ethnicity.

All blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative. To learn more about donating blood and to schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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Red Cross Helping 76 People After Holiday Week Home Fires

Trained American Red Cross responders are spending their holiday week comforting 76 neighbors in need following 21 fires across Wisconsin since December 24th.

Responses include seven in 24-hours including Green Bay, Markesan, Wausaukee and four in Milwaukee. Red Cross responders will meet with each family to discuss emergency needs such as a food, shelter, clothing, health needs and emotional support along with a recovery plan. Since Christmas eve, local workers, led by a team of dedicated volunteers, are also helping families in Racine, Marshfield, Black River Falls, Suamico, Oshkosh, Pine River, Frederic, Appleton, West Allis, Adams, Kewaunee and Irma.

The number of home fires increases during cold, winter months. To prevent fires, the Red Cross recommends following home fire safety tips. Fire safety tips, as well as numerous other resources, are also available on the free Red Cross First Aid App.

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To become a Red Cross volunteer in your community, visit redcross.org/volunteer. People can help those affected by fire and other disasters by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Financial gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit redcross.org/donate to make a secure online donation or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Follow us on our new statewide twitter account for updates! @redcrosswis

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