WCCC News Article

Healthcare Students Earn Certification, Enter Workforce

Ashley Callender

Career-Technical Education is traditionally a hands-on experience, making remote learning a challenge for instructors and students. Warren County Career Center adult and high school educators have met the challenge and are finding ways to deliver lessons and keep students on track for earning certification.

Despite the challenges, WCCC Adult Education healthcare programs are continuing to prepare students for certification and to enter the workforce to join the ranks of much-needed frontline medical professionals.

“We knew from the first day that schools were ordered closed that we needed to continue to provide our community with trained and certified healthcare professionals,” Coordinator Teresa Orloff said. “Our instructors figured out ways to deliver instruction and we came up with a plan for certification exams. I am proud of all our students and staff.”

Full-time programs Medical Assistant, Dental Assisting, and Pharmacy Technician proceeded and Phlebotomy Technician, a part-time program, was extended by one week. All 11 Phlebotomy students completed their course and so far, 10 have taken the certification exam. Most are now working at area hospitals and medical testing centers. The seven State Tested Nursing Assistant students who completed in March will test with the state on May 20.  Monthly STNA classes were stopped in April but Dr. Orloff hopes to be able to reopen a class in June. STNAs work with direct patient care in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities and are in great demand in the job market.

Two Pharmacy Tech students will finish May 21, and both are currently working as Pharm Techs at Walgreens and Meijer. Four Dental Assisting students will finish May 21. Two of the four are currently employed by dental offices and all have earned their X-Ray licenses. The Medical Assisting students will finish in early September.

“Our instructors conducted weekly online classes that involved lecture, demonstrations and student participation,” Dr. Orloff said. “I rearranged classes so the ones more suited for online instruction are going on now and the other more clinical classes will take place in June and July. Our Phlebotomy Tech students took their certification exam one at a time at our Greentree Health Science Academy, isolated in a classroom, with me as their proctor.”

Enrollment for future classes is going on now, and all start dates depend on direction from the state, but WCCC is planning for summer and fall program starts. June STNA is scheduled to run from June 8-30, evenings from 4-9:30 p.m. and the next Phlebotomy Tech program is scheduled to run Aug. 25 – Nov. 10, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. When the main campus of WCCC reopens, students can register in person and schedule their WorkKeys pre-assessment. Online registration is available via the website now at: https://wctc.axstudent.com/. The three full-time classes, Medical Assistant, Dental Assisting and Pharmacy Technician are also open for registration and are planned to start Aug. 17.

“The silver lining of this Pandemic will be the increase and need for medical professionals in the workforce,” Dr. Orloff said. “There will also be an increase in the responsibilities for certain professions. For example, Phlebotomy Techs might be testing for COVID-19 in the future as well as giving vaccinations. This responsibility could also fall on Dental Assistants as well.”

WCCC Greentree Health Science Academy Campus Director Kim Gambill is working with adult and high school staff to ensure current students are certified and prepared for healthcare careers, and future students can be welcomed into programs soon. Application is going on now for adult and high school programs. Currently, about 100 students have been accepted into junior-level high school healthcare programs at Greentree for fall. High School sophomores may apply at this link: https://warren.enrolltrack.com/.  Enrollment in adult programs is increasing, and we are seeing an uptick in inquiries from potential students so we advise anyone interested to register now at https://wctc.axstudent.com/. Questions may be directed to [email protected].

“During this unprecedented time, it is even more important that we help our students prepare and fulfill critical jobs within the medical field,” she said. “Throughout this epidemic, all of our staff has worked tirelessly and creatively to ensure that all of our students continue to achieve, so they can fill a vital role in their chosen fields.”
 
Pictured is recent Adult Diploma Program and Phlebotomy Technician graduate Ashley Callender, who begins a job with CompuNet as a Phlebotomist in June!

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