Sarin Danielian always wanted to become a registered nurse (RN) but when she couldn't find a program that worked for her, she had to take a slight change in direction.
"All the programs were full or too expensive," Sarin said. "That's when my friend recommended looking into becoming a licensed vocational nursing (VN) instead."
Sarin started researching local programs and found Concorde Career College-North Hollywood's Vocational Nursing (VN) program. Impressed by the curriculum and program length, she began the enrollment process.
Studying at Concorde
While Sarin completed her VN program at Concorde, she did her best to balance other responsibilities. She went straight to class or clinicals after working graveyard shifts as a CNA and also had a part-time position as a medical biller. In addition to a part-time job and VN courses, Sarin was a single parent and responsible for taking care of her family. It was difficult, but she knew her instructors were always there to help.
"My instructors at Concorde were my backbone," Sarin said. "They were always there giving me support whenever and however I needed it."
She remembers VN program faculty taking extra time before or after clinicals to review concepts and skills. They created lesson plans that were catered to Sarin's strengths and weaknesses, and pushed Sarin even when she felt like giving up.
Sarin's instructors even helped guide her toward a particular VN role in which she'd thrive in.
"I really wanted to be in a hospital setting or in skilled nursing," she said. "But two of my instructors told me to look into home health hospice. They were convinced, based on my skills and personality that I could really flourish there."
Turns out her instructors were right. After graduating in February 2020 and trying a position in skilled nursing, Sarin switched to home health hospice and has loved every minute of it.
Helping Families As Well As Patients
Today, Sarin works as a hospice and home health VN for multiple agencies in addition to working part-time as a 24-hour nurse for home-based ventilator patients. Sarin's roles not only involve caring for her patients, but also educating and being there for the families.
"A big part of my job is just helping the family prepare to say goodbye," she said. "They're dealing with a lot and I'm there to let them know that the care of their loved one is something I can take off their shoulders."
Sarin loves getting to work one-on-one with her patients and frequently meeting new families. Something she didn't expect when initially pursing her career, however, was working during a global pandemic.
"I saw a lot of nurses quitting to avoid getting COVID-19," she said. "I stayed and it's a privilege to take that risk."
Sarin considers working amid a pandemic as a positive because she gets to help so many people in need, especially those who are more prone to being affected by the virus.
"I love that I get to provide continuous care to patients and their families during such a stressful time, and Concorde is what allowed me to do that."