I Saved a Life Today - St. Augustine Health Ministries

  I Saved a Life Today

STNA Program at St. Augustine Inspires Future Caregivers to Furthering Their Career


Cleveland, OH: Recently, St. Augustine Health Ministries, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing health care and social services within the community, celebrated their third graduating class of the STNA program. The STNA program is a three-week class allows students to advance their skills and offer opportunities to further their nursing careers. After starting the program four months ago, St. Augustine and its residents are experiencing top-of-the-line care from in-house, state-trained STNAs. Students collaborate and work with residents to develop their observation skills, study any changes to the patient in real time, and acquire the knowledge of the core fundamentals in patient care.

Upon graduation, many students are hired by St. Augustine Health Campus. STNAs leave the program feeling empowered to not only better themselves, but to better the lives of others. These students graduate with pride and passion, which is carried over to the residents. At the end of the three weeks, students can confidently say “I saved a life today” based on their ability to recognize subtle behavioral, cognitive, or physical changes within the resident. These changes often lead to medical diagnoses which could be easily overlooked if not properly trained to address such subtleties.

The STNA instructor, Maria Bowe, builds her class on heavy lessons with verbal support. One of her teaching methods, which has contributed to the successful pass rate, is the practice of leaving their burdens at the door.

Maria states, “Picking up a physical rock represents a burden which I carry. I will ask my students how many rocks they believe I can carry. The importance of this practice is to teach students how to be in the mindset of the patient. These students are meeting with new people and learning how to be aware of their surroundings. Essentially, they are learning how to look out for each other and residents and to be conscious of others. It’s important to bring your sparkle with you as it’s so easy to lose your sparkle and forget to shine bright.” She also stresses the importance of empowering her students in believing in themselves and understanding how and why they are providing care.

Due to Maria’s teaching strategy, students graduate as compassionate and loving caregivers. Not only do the students feel more empowered and capable to say “I saved a life,” but the residents also feel empowered and loved. Students are challenging themselves every day by continuing to heal and provide care to those who cannot afford it. 

About St. Augustine: For nearly 50 years, St. Augustine Health Ministries has provided services and programs to thousands of Clevelanders- the chronically ill, aging, disabled and those in need of hospice care. As a not-for-profit, faith-based organization, we rely on the support of our community friends and partners to help continue to bring these services to those in need.

(In photo left to right: Christina Lobaugh, Jasha Chavers, Erika Armstrong, (F) Madolane Washington, Shalonda Dean, Ariel Bass-Bey, Maria Bowe LPN)