Assessment, Assessment, Assessment and More Assessment! Need Your Client Assessed?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I performed a self-assessment and wrote a paper titled “Self-Assessment of Competencies for Entry Level Health Educators” for the School Health course I took while attending Iowa State University in the fall of 1994.

Self Assessment

I remember typing my paper on a Power Mac and using a dot matrix printer! Remember how to carefully tear the sides off after you gently folded at the seam?  I read the old paper (it was yellowed!) scanned it in and recycled the paper (one of my purposes of blogging is to clear out my office of lots of paper!) I won’t bore you with the entire paper, but here’s the original cover page, the introduction and the conclusion:


I am a non-traditional student (if there is such a term) who has worked for 12+ years and made the move to return to school to fulfill a personal goal. Please keep in mind as you read my self-assessment that I have based many skills and competencies on activities I have performed in the past at the workplace.

I have been employed as a nurse’s aide, a medical records clerk, an agricultural statistics gatherer, and a secretary for the State of Iowa. Currently, I am a medical transcriptionist and a placement specialist.

My position as a placement specialist has offered me many skills that can be related to a health educator. This position is for a rehabilitation consulting firm, and as a placement specialist, I work with individuals who have been injured on the job and are now receiving workers’ compensation benefits. My objectives involve offering the client job seeking skills training to return them to meaningful employment as outlined by their personal goals and health history. My education nursing school, secretarial science, liberal arts and community health education. I have many credits!

The paper then focused on how my skills / competencies (including those I would need to acquire) and related life experiences help in the following areas:

  • Assessing Individual and Community Needs for Health Education
  • Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Health Education Programs
  • Acting as a Resource Person in Health Education
  • Communicating Health and Health Education Needs, Concerns and Resources.

And the … last page … the


This self-assessment is an excellent tool to use when identifying your strengths and weaker areas of professionalism and room for growth. I put a lot of work into this assessment, as it let me seriously look at why I took various courses and which ones pertain to my future as a health educator. This assessment will help me compile an up-to-date resume, and also gives me a tool which I can use when interviewing for a job.

Although I feel I have many useful skills, I need to refine many of them. With the incorporation of all the knowledge I have gained through my community health education major, I am VERY MUCH looking forward to finding a position where I can utilize all my skills and competencies.

The professor, Dr. Frank E. Shabel, made comments in red ink throughout the assessment, and on the last page of the paper he wrote:  Amy, This is the most thorough assessment I have had in two years. You have gained much through the process. Save a copy for future employers. A+ 35/35 4 pages? (Note it need have only been 4 pages, but mine was 9…typical me.)

The paper is a blast from the past and I see that I did a pretty good job of doing what I said I needed to do!  That being to utilize and develop the skills and competencies I wrote about in the fall of 1994!  And very importantly, since then, I focused in on developing my assessment skills.

An assessment is the estimation of the quality or ability of something or someone.  It is imperative to gather complete, reliable and valid information from the person who is the recipient of an assessment.  

Image result for clip art assessment image

I perform vocational assessments, transferable skills assessments, job assessments, educational assessments, employability assessments, job seeking skills assessments, job search assessments, labor market assessments, educational / training assessments, small business assessments, independent living assessments, life care planning assessments, motivational assessments, occupational health assessments, plus more!
Image result for assessment

If you’d like to learn more about my vocational assessments, or any of the other many assessments available, and how I focus on individual while keeping uniqueness in mind, give me a call at 515-282-7753. You can also find documents for download and click on the sample vocational assessment link.  I’m happy to help assess your client’s assessment needs! 


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.


My Dad’s Work…And Retirement!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Continuing on from my post on Father’s Day about my father Dick Prochnow, and his work….

After he was fired in 1993, even though the situation clearly was not warranted, came out of the blue, and was unjustified, dad didn’t falter.  Shortly thereafter, he applied for work at a local construction company and was hired as a laborer on a crew.  “I packed my lunch bucket and rode my bike to the worksite.  Dad’s boss at this time was about 20 years younger.  Dad (he was 60 then) did this work for three months until his next employer offered him a position.

“I did concrete work, put up metal buildings, cleaned up the messes, whatever the boss needed me to do.”

Dad was hired as a route driver for Hiland Potato Chip Company later in the year.  He was responsible to market products, increase sales, and make delivery runs to retail customers.  He set up displays and rotated products.  He took orders, tracked sales and inventory, and handled customer relations.  And, of course, he brought in new accounts.  Dad had a storage unit to house inventory and the box truck. Dick worked for “The Chippiest Chips Around” company for a year.

“I liked the freedom this job offered.”

Then John, who owned the Culligan dealership in Fort Dodge, hired him on May 1, 1994. Dad drove from Iowa Falls to Fort Dodge and back every day and worked as a service manager.  His job involved scheduling and coordinating the work for himself and two workers.  Dad did service work, installations, and delivered water softener tanks, salt and equipment to customers.  This job involved extensive customer service skills.

One important detail that I didn’t write about in last week’s post was the fact that the tanks weighed 80-160 pounds.  A dolly or a sling was used to move them, which often included maneuvering the tanks down a flight of steps into a customer’s basement.  Nowadays the tanks are about half the weight (which leads me to another topic for a future blog – lifting and  accommodations.)

At age 65, dad retired.  Party!

Dad also, for about 5 years during the earlier years of working for Culligan in Iowa Falls, held a weekend job.  He delivered The Des Moines Sunday Register to rural customers throughout Hardin County.  In early pre-dawn hours, dad picked up between 10-12 bundles of newspaper (20 newspaper per bundle) at the local convenience store,  KerrMcGee (Kum & Go), loaded his front seat and the truck bed; and off he went driving his white Chevy Luv Truck.

The “Luv” Truck had a ton of miles on it!

If you click on the link for Kum &Go, I’ve posted Tony Gentle’s obituary. It’s a good read, titled Gentle’s Career of Hard Work. He was a great support of Iowa Falls, and of course founder of Kum & Go (Iowa Falls was home to the first “KerrMcGee” – what it was called back then.  Tony was one of my dad’s work references.

This job involved major league stamina.  I filled in once or so for him, and I have no idea how he could get up so early on a Sunday morning, drive all over the country to deliver Sunday papers.  The skills with this job include, of course, driving, along with mapping, time management, customer service, counting and delivery.   It was, of course, dark.  The gravel roads could lead anywhere.  But Dad knew what he was doing.

Even when it came to which dog’s bark was way worse than any bite.

You know, all this time Ann was working too.  On to my mom and her career in another post!  A side note, dad, how did you work all through the night and still stay awake for Sunday morning mass?  Or were you faking it? No, not with your snoring capacity.

Have a great week!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.




My Dad and His Work. Happy Fathers Day!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When I was growing up my dad, Dick Prochnow, continued his career with Culligan Soft Water that began in 1959 in Northbrook, Illinois.  Here’s the link to my original post on How did I get into Rehab Counseling?

Dad started as a material handler in the plant, doing prepackaging as well as painting work, and supervising a half-dozen workers.  He received a promotion and in 1968, started his work as the branch manager of Culligan in Iowa Falls.

1953 Ad for Culligan Soft Water

My dad was in charge of daily operations at Culligan when it was located on Main and Railroad overlooking the Iowa River.  I remember watching dad work in the office one minute and the next he was out working in the plant. He moved around and handled many responsibilities.

Dad was involved in planning, directing and coordinating the operations of this small business. He formulated policies, planned the use of materials and human resources and made purchasing decisions.  He hired, trained, and yes, fired people.  He made marketing, sales and delivery calls.  He did any work that the workers he hired did, and more. He responded to customer complaints, including those coming in the middle of the night or on weekends that required repairing softening units.

Hey Culligan Man!

Dad hired 7 guys who delivered the softeners and the salt to residential and commercial customers.  He had a full-time secretary and a part-time office worker.  For a time, my brothers (Mike and Steve) worked for him.  I cleaned the bathroom, and sucked on the sugar cubes set out for coffee (not at the same time UGGG.) I also remember the pop machine!

Sucking on the Sugar Cubes – A Fond Memory

I remember the interesting smells, sights and sounds of water being regenerated. I remember the brine pit – scary.  Being waay down under the ground, it was dark.  The only way in or out was the built in ladder. It smelled strange.  I also remember walking in the plant area, on the grates over the water, around the long lines of water tanks.  The huge trucks were parked inside the plant.  And the big workers, how they could move numerous tanks and 50# bags of salt onto their trucks, and off they went to deliver.

Dad is very skilled!

 And talented!

Dad has many skills and can use a variety of hand tools and power equipment. He’s pretty good with money and figures too.  And he has a way with human relations.  He can smooze the higher ups and bring in the customers.  “I liked the people the best.”  He can go from wearing his blue uniform to a suit and look just as handsome.

Dad worked for Culligan in Iowa Falls until the day they canned him.  As he put it “they left me”.  This was 25 years into his career in Iowa Falls.  I don’t know the details, something with a change in ownership of the company and corporate relations that led to the firing. Jerks.

More to come…because change (along with hard work) is good. My hat is off to my wonderful and talented and handsome dad!

Happy Father’s Day!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.