Walker High School students Brandon Simmons and Matthew Chustz took vital signs on a patient at a local nursing home in February as part of their hands-on training for their certified nursing assistant course, a news release from Walker High School said.

The CNA course is available to juniors at Walker High School. After becoming CNAs, both Simmons and Chustz were accepted into the Patient Care Tech course at the Literacy & Technology Center in Walker. Following graduation, both will have phlebotomy certification, EKG certification and CNA certification, which will provide opportunities for them to work in local hospitals, nursing homes and doctor’s offices, the release said.

The duo plan to continue pursuing health care careers in college while working part time in hospitals, the release said.

“It is amazing watching our students’ excitement and enthusiasm in these courses that will produce home-grown professionals ready to serve their communities,” said Traci Beatty, a registered nurse and CNA instructor at Walker High School.

“I feel so proud of our program when I walk into a health care facility and see former students working as CNAs, paramedics, phlebotomists and registered nurses, Beatty said. “These students are not just playing doctor. They are trained professionals out there saving lives.”