Community Partnerships: Carilion and TAP working together

Carilion Clinic runs a wide network of hospitals and physicians, and serves nearly one million Virginians each year. Medical expertise is a major requirement, but a hospital needs so much more to be successful in its mission of care. Hospitals are often high-stress environments—for employees and visitors alike—making the practice of interpersonal skills an important challenge to meet.

To help its nurse assistants be successful, Carilion partnered with TAP to provide orientation classes to new hires. It was our Certified Nurse Assistant program, which provides the certification necessary to work in long-term care facilities, that first got Carilion’s attention. Our students consistently demonstrated not only the right blend of technical skills required to achieve certification, but did so along with a core set of soft skills, good workplace habits, and hands-on practice.

Jessica Sheppard, LPN, is our instructional specialist for the program and coordinator with Carilion. Previously employed at Carilion, she brings 21 years of nursing experience and knows just how demanding the profession can be. She works with her students to improve their skills in listening to and interacting with patients, as well as deciphering what findings to report to their colleagues. She also prepares them for how the practice can be more demanding than what’s in the textbook.

For Jessica, the chance to make a difference in the care her students provide to those in need is a major motivating factor. “It’s my passion,” she says. “I want my students to remember what they learn!”

Find out more about our adult education programs here.