WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. (July 7, 2021) — Bob Davidson of Norwood, MA, has been the chaplain at Brookhaven Hospice in Westborough, MA for the past seven years and recently turned to MassBay Community College’s certified nursing assistant (CNA) program to learn new, vital skills. Bob explained, “I wanted to learn more about healthcare and develop skills to be able to further help people when I’m at work and on missionary trips. MassBay’s CNA program was appealing because it was an accelerated course that would train me how to interact with patients with a medical mindset and in a shorter timeframe.”
Bob, a married father of four children, dedicated his career to helping others, especially when they’re most vulnerable, but he always wanted to do more. “As a chaplain, I visit the hospice patients during lunchtime to help them eat or just chat with them. However, because I did not have the nursing training, I was limited to what I could do for them, so expanding my abilities was really the driving force for me to earn my CNA credentials. Now that I’ve completed my CNA coursework, I feel qualified to provide the spiritual, the emotional and, when necessary, the physical care for my patients. If I noticed that something is off with a patient, I can accurately take their vitals and relay this information to the hospice nurse. I won’t ever be held back from helping others as now I have the training to provide greater care to my patients.”
Bob was one of 30 MassBay CNA students in spring 2021 who were able to study for free under a $79,990 grant MassBay received from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Training Resources and Internship Network (TRAIN) grant program. This grant was designed to support long-term unemployed, under-employed, and new entrant adult works who seek to enter the workforce and address regional workforce shortages. The grant covered all tuition and fees, textbook, uniform, certification fees, and other required materials, which would typical cost students approximately $1,400.
Another passion of Bob’s is participating in mission trips, providing medical aid and supplies to people impacted by natural disasters. Since 2015, Bob has participated in four medical mission trips with GO International, a Kentucky-based, non-profit organization. Through GO International, Bob has helped citizens in eastern Peru and, most recently, in the region of Honduras that was hit with back-to-back hurricanes in November 2020. “I was able to help patients in Honduras with nursing care, which was a very rewarding experience. The techniques I learned from Professor Jose Silva kicked right in, and I was able to sharpen my training with the additional hands-on learning from that trip. Working in a COVID-19 triage center, screening and taking people’s vital signs, I was able to prepare the doctors on what was going on with these particular patients. I wore my MassBay scrubs proudly while assisting the people of Honduras,” he said.
Bob, who also holds a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Business from St. Louis (MO) University, wanted to become a pilot before changing course and entering seminary school. “It’s incredibly rewarding being a chaplain for hospice patients. That is my number one job! I work with people at the end of their life here on earth and comfort them. I now know if they need immediate medical assistance, I can react and be more supportive due to the top-notch training I received at MassBay. It’s tremendously gratifying.”
Bob is scheduled to take his CNA certification test in August 2021.
MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations RegisteredNursing.org, and PracticalNursing.org. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond.