Patience, compassion, and a strong stomach are vital for this major. Students learn effective communication skills as well as how to take vital signs, change bandages, give CPR, make beds, and take the patients’ height and weight. In class students’ practice transporting, moving, bathing, and lifting patients as part of their daily activities. They also learn how to and practice helping patients use crutches, wheelchairs, and even bedpans. However, the Nursing Assisting course requires students to participate in clinical learning, which is when they go to the nursing home and practice what they have learned. Students will also work with real patients and use all of the knowledge, processes, and skills they learned in class to perform the duties they are assigned. This very unique opportunity for students to work under the supervision of a licensed health care professional provides students with real world hands-on experience.


Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Four Year Course Progression

YEAR 1 (Freshmen): Health Science Anatomy & Physiology

YEAR 2 (Sophomore): Health Science Foundations X02

YEAR 3 (Junior): Allied Health Assisting X03

YEAR 4 (Senior): Nursing Assisting & Health Directed Study X15  & X17


Health Science Anatomy & Physiology (HS1)
This course is part of the secondary Health Core consisting of an overview of the human body, both structurally and functionally with emphasis on the pathophysiology and transmission of disease.  Medical terminology is an integral part of the course.

Health Science Foundations (HS2)
This course is part of the Secondary Health Core designed to provide the student with an in-depth knowledge of the health care system and associated occupations.  Emphasis is placed on communication and interpersonal skills, use of technology, ethics and the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Students may shadow professionals throughout the course.

Allied Health Assisting (AHA)
This course prepares students to be employed as Home Health Aides, Content includes but is not limited to patient care and safety, geriatric patient care, nutrition principles, rehabilitation services as well as supervised management functions.

Nursing Assisting (NA)
This program offers a sequence of courses that provides coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in the Health Science career cluster; provides technical skill proficiency, and includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of Health Science career cluster.

Program Instructor:
Mrs. Barbara Paulsen R.N.
Email: 291916@dadeschools.net
Electrocardiograph Technician 3 (EKG)/Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMMA)

Program Instructor:
Barbara Paulsen R.N.
Email: 291916@dadeschool.net

Is there a Hero in you…? Do you think you have what it takes?
This course prepares students to be employed as Electrocardiograph aides.  Content includes, but is not limited to, a foundation in the cardiovascular system, safety measures for the individual, co-workers and patients as well as training in the appropriate theories and instruments used by an Electrocardiograph Aide.

Varela offers these within our Nursing Program Academy of Choice:


Certified Electrocardiograph Technician (EKG Tech.)
Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)


Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA): Website