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Fernandina High School’s Certified Nursing Assistant Program

Fernandina High School's Certified Nursing Assistant ProgramWhen I was ten years old I told my aunt that I wanted to be a pediatric neurosurgeon when I grew up. Now, for a ten year old, this is an interesting thing to aspire to be, so my aunt immediately told me that I would never make it that far and I would change my mind. Up until a few years ago I was dead set on becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon and proving her wrong.

My freshman year of high school I was in a class called Medical Skills taught by Mrs. Sharon Belcher, ARNP. In this class I learned all about the different medical professions there are, gave a PowerPoint presentation about poison control, was introduced to my now favorite show House, kept up with current events in medicine, learned how to read and use military time, became CPR certified, learned how to dress a wound, and I was introduced to the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class offered to seniors by Mrs. Belcher.

I soon realized that getting into the CNA program as a senior would help me get used to being in the medical field and would be a good first step to becoming a Pediatric Neurosurgeon. Junior year rolled around and I signed up to be in Mrs. Belcher’s Anatomy and Physiology Honors class, which turned out to be a lot like Medical Skills. I learned the specifics of each body system and we made Anatomy music videos (as seen below) to learn all the bones and muscles.

Towards the end of February the office started to make announcements about applications to be in the 2012-2013 CNA class. Naturally, I got an application, filled it out, and set up the face-to-face interview to try and be accepted. Within a few weeks, Mrs. Belcher posted a list of the 14 people who made it into the program and I am proud to say that I have been working towards becoming a CNA ever since!

In this class we learn different skills, like bed baths, dressing a patient, catheter care, range of motion exercises, how to take vital signs, and many others. The first semester in school is all learning and book work with some fun thrown in there! We practice the skills on mannequins and get checked off so we can start learning new things. We also host school wide events. So far this year we have held 2 blood drives for the Blood Alliance, one of which my best friend and I hosted, and a Buddy Check 12 fundraiser with Jeanie Blalock.

The second semester of senior year we put these skills to use. We get to go to Baptist Medical Center – Nassau to observe and help with patients every Monday and Thursday, but some of us can be at Amelia Internal Medicine, Heartland Rehabilitation or Amelia Foot & Ankle while the rest are at BMC-N. Every Tuesday and Wednesday we are either helping the CNA’s at Quality Health, at Amelia Urgent Care, at FB Fire Rescue, or in the ESC classroom at the high school. We are each in a new department every week so we can learn the logistics of each job offered to a CNA.

So far, in the five weeks we have been going to clinical, I have been to the Pharmacy at BMC-N, Amelia Urgent Care, the lab at BMC-N, Quality Health, the ESC classroom, Heartland, FB Fire Rescue (my favorite so far!), Medical Records at BMC-N, and the Ambulatory Surgical Unit at BMC-N. We will continue to go to clinical and practice our skills for the next two months.

On May 3rd, all 14 of us will take a written test, then a skills check off test. These tests will show the CNA evaluators our patient skills and our bedside manner. Hopefully that day all of us will officially become Certified Nursing Assistants and we can work on finding a summer job before we go to college.

This class may not seem very interesting to someone who isn’t interested in being in the medical field, but it means a lot to me. I have made lifelong friends this year because of this class and learned so much that I wouldn’t have learned from taking elective classes or doing OJT. But, as much as I hate to admit it, my aunt was right… I did change my mind. I’ve decided Pediatrics isn’t my forte; I would get too attached to my patients. I believe a better fit for me is trauma. I aspire to be a trauma surgeon when I graduate from medical school. Since I like to be in the middle of the action and FB Fire Rescue has been my favorite clinical site, I am often referred to as an adrenaline junkie… well, if the shoe fits, wear it!

I see myself and every single one of my fellow classmates doing great things in the future because of the CNA program offered at Fernandina Beach High School, I strongly advise anyone interested in the medical field to look into it!

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Ally’s Truck is for Sale

Ally's Truck is for SaleTruck for sale! That’s right, I have put my truck up for sale.

My 1998 Dodge Dakota is fun to drive with a 5-speed manual transmission. It has working air conditioning and two new front tires my parents gave me for my birthday.

The truck is certainly recognizable with its orange and yellow flaming paint job, over a metallic blue base coat. But, if you are a Gator fan, you will LOVE the coloring of this truck! Not only did my truck make the Top 15 List of cool cars in last year’s high school year book, but I NEVER have trouble locating it in a parking lot… ever!

There is a Tanneau cover installed, as well as an after market stereo I bought, and since my parents hardly ever let me go anywhere, the truck only has 118,382 miles.

I bought the truck two years ago, before I even had a drivers license, with money I had earned babysitting and I have been cruising all over East Nassau County in this cute little pick-em-up-truck for a year and a half.

My parents say this is an ideal first vehicle for a teenager. Mom and Dad were thrilled that I learned how to drive a stick and they say someday I’ll be glad I have that skill. And you can only imagine their happiness when they realized it is next to impossible to text and drive in Fernandina Beach if you drive a clutch! They never let me remove the Tanneau cover either, they said it would keep all of my high school friends from jumping into the bed of the truck for a ride home from school or to the beach.

truck-for-sale-fernandinaI think they just liked having a truck in the family when they needed to have something hauled home from Sears, Home Depot or Lowe’s.

This year I am a senior at FBHS and I’m in the CNA program. Since I have been already been accepted to several colleges, I decided I needed something more practical to haul my stuff to and from school next year and I found a deal on a vehicle that I could not pass up!

So, now, I am ready to part with my very first car. And my folks say, “Everyone remembers their first car!”

I have it priced at $2,000 (including a brand new, NEVER been used ice scraper and snow brush set and the black fuzzy dice hanging from the rear view mirror), though when I looked it up on Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) the private sale value was higher. All reasonable offers are welcomed as well as any donations you would like to make to my college fund!

Please call my dad, Lawrence Mackie, at (904) 583-1010 and leave a message for more information or to test drive this amazing vehicle.

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Ally at the Desk Previews the 2012 Amelia Concours d’Elegance on Video

Ally at the Desk Previews the 2012 Amelia Concours d'Elegance on Video

2013 Infiniti JX

It is always a pleasure to be included with the press when The Amelia (The Concours d’Elegance) comes to Fernandina Beach each year. This year, Ally at the Desk returns with a humorous look at cars, now that she is old enough to drive!

Tickets at the gate are $60.00 (US) per adult, $25.00 for individual youths 12-18 years of age, and $25.00 for active duty military personnel (with ID) and their accompanying individual immediate family members. All tickets include an official program. Children under 12 years of age are admitted to the Concours field free on Sunday, March 11, 2012 with a paying adult.

Infiniti sponsors the Media Room and They are rightfully showing off their 2013 Infiniti JX at this event. This 7-passenger SUV has room for adults in both the 2nd and 3rd row seating.

Infiniti Connection includes Destination Assistance, Google Calendar, in-vehicle access to an Infiniti personal assistant, Drive Zone Monitoring and Max Speed Alert.

With a 265 horsepower, 3.5 liter V6 engine, this amazing vehicle will have you riding in complete comfort starting at $40,450 (plus the small obligatory surcharges).

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Tips to the Perfect Deep Fried Turkey

The Amelia Island Way to Deep Fry a Turkey

How to Deep Fry a Turkey

This is a classic video I pulled from the early SearchAmelia days showing you how to deep fry a turkey. This video was made before we had established a SearchAmelia channel on YouTube, but it is indeed worth watching again if you will be cooking your turkey outdoors.

Each year we fry eight, ten or more turkeys for our neighbors, friends and relatives throughout the day. My husband wakes up early to start the cooker and everyone has a scheduled time to show up with their bird. Because they take about 45 minutes to cook, plus additional time to prep the turkey and of course, to let the perfected poultry cool down, we get well over an hour to visit with each set of friends.

For our newer viewers, if you have ever been interested in learning how to safely deep fry your Thanksgiving turkey, this video is a timeless reminder.

For complete instructions and a list of needed supplies, visit the original article published on SearchAmelia two years ago by clicking on the following link:
www.searchamelia.com/how-to-deep-fry-a-turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!
Team SearchAmelia

Hello Forever Interview [Video]

Hello Forever Interview [Video]

Hello Forever Interview with Ally at the Desk

Three members of the up and coming Christian rock band, Hello Forever, from Nashville, Tennessee sat down with Ally at the Desk to answer a few questions. Then Ally accompanied the musicians into a rehearsal at The Journey Church in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Dillan Howell, vocals and guitar; Jonathan Caldwell, rhythm guitar; and Ben McCue, bass and programming were absolutely delightful to interview. Ally gets the video started with a playful, lightning round of random questions and finds out that Dillan takes a lot of teasing from the rest of the band, from his musical crush on Taylor Swift to driving a purple car… though Dillan claims it is blue. We’ve got a picture of his car in the video, so you be the judge!

The session concludes with a sound check and some practice run-throughs which are a little tough with two of the band members missing from the rehearsal, but Jordyn from The Journey Church step right up and lends her talents on the keyboard and with vocals.

The band’s bio states, “Hello Forever exists as a band primarily to make music that glorifies God and moves others to do the same. Our goal is to create songs that are artistically unique and spiritually uplifting as well as written with a nod towards our particular passions and life experiences.”

Hello Forever performed in Fernandina Beach at the Journey Church, on Sunday of the 2010 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival and SearchAmelia had committments all over town that weekend, so we missed their performance… maybe we can catch up with them again as we are certain they will be returning to Amelia Island. They are hitting the studio this summer and laying down tracks for their upcoming debut CD and Shine Your Light, heard on the video, will be on it! Keep your eyes open and watch the rise of this talented group of young men who are spreading a positive message, in a musical style our youth can understand!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGTGUujzAZU

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Amelia Island Ghost Hunters

southern-paranormal-research-society-interview1Are you interested in ghost hunting on Amelia Island? SearchAmelia had the privilege to speak with the Southern Paranormal Research Society about their recent supernatural investigations into reported ghost or spirit sightings at businesses in Fernandina Beach, on Amelia Island, Florida. Ally at the Desk brings you in depth interviews and insight from the Director and a Case Manager from the Southern Paranormal Research Society, by our field reporter, Allison.

Recent activity warranted expert investigation into reported incidents of ghosts, spirits and other entities at places like Wicked Davey’s, the Palace Saloon, the Florida House Inn and Crane Island, among others.

Check out the video for more information and then consider attending the Paranormal Seminar for Beginners offered by The Florida House Inn in historic Fernandina Beach. This will be an informative, educational and exciting look into the world beyond. Beginning on Friday night, June 12, you are treated to a meet and greet and then a Ghost Tour of historic Fernandina including a trolley ride to the Bosque Bello Cemetery.

Saturday’s activities are filled with speakers, lessons and hands on ghost hunting until 1:00 AM! Sunday brings you back for a discussion of what you encountered the night before and then the experts describe your encounter! Contact the Florida House Inn for more information and to register for the conference.

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Meet Nick Deonas, Grand Marshall of the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Parade

Nick Deonas is the Grand Marshall for the 2009 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival parade. Ally at the desk introduces this interview between Mr. Deonas and SearchAmelia’s own, Amelia Island News reporter, AJ.



Nick Deonas is an accomplished businessman and gave many years to Public Service as well, performing duties as a firefighter, County Commissioner, and Port Authority Chairman.

He is into real estate and the marine industry – as well as an active partner in several online businesses including FortuneBound.com and SearchAmelia. As an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers member, he still co-writes music with Howard Scott of legendary “War” (Cisco Kid).

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Amelia Island Author Merrillee Whren Interview

Amelia Island author, Merrillee Whren is about to release her latest publication, Homecoming Blessings and Search Amelia’s field reporter AJ gets into the author’s head

Come with us as AJ interviews Mrs. Whren about life in Fernandina Beach and what it is like to be a real writer.

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Sounds on Centre

Sounds on Centre returned to Fernandina Beach this weekend with music, entertainment and Pirates. This Amelia Island event runs through October and Ally at the Desk sent reporter, Judie Mackie, to hit the streets in Historic Fernandina Beach and check out the action, with live music by Face for Radio.

If you are in Fernandina Beach the first Friday of the month, this is a must see event!

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Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity plays an important role in improving the lives of those seeking a safe shelter to call a home of their own.


Currently, Habitat for Humanity in Fernandina Beach, Florida is completing a home in Fernandina Beach for a very deserving family and Search Amelia went out to see just what they were doing for our community. For more information call 904-277-0600 or visit their Web site www.nassauhabitatforhumanity.org.

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Desserts of Amelia Video

Desserts of Amelia, was an enjoyable evening of delectable treats and a successful fund raiser for the Fernandina Beach Middle School.

Local restaurants donate their specialty desserts to be served. All of the money raised goes directly back to the faculty and classrooms. This is the sole fundraiser hosted for the teachers.

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Relay for Life

Relay for Life 2009

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Ally at the Desk Amelia Holiday

Ally has been at the desk featuring a holiday story focusing on all of the wonderful things Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach offer during the holiday season of 2008.

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How To Deep Fry Turkey [Video]

Ally’s Insights presents the proper and safe way to deep fry the perfect holiday turkey. Watch “How to Deep Fry a Turkey” shown here and see her special guest walk us through step by step instructions. Then check out the details under our Gourmet Recipe section of this Web site.

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