Nov 17, 2013

Career Tech graduates first Medical Tech Prep class

BY BOB ROBINSON
ASSOC. EDITOR
GREENVILLE – “You are the first,” said Lisa Wendell, Workforce Specialist for the Darke County Economic Development Center. She was speaking to 11 graduates of the Greenville Career Tech Center’s Medical Tech Prep program.

“This is the first time we have matched a workforce need to a training program,” she continued. The Medical Tech Prep graduates are the first to complete a Career Tech program and enter the workforce as STNA’s (State Tested Nursing Assistants).

The program is an intense 75-hour course over a three week period. All 11 students have either already been hired or have strong prospects they are considering.

According to Emily Powers, coordinator of the program, they held a Recruitment Night. Four nursing homes met with the students the night before.

The students will enter the healthcare field as STNA’s. They consider it the first step toward more education and specialization.

“STNA’s are the eyes of the place,” said one student. “We change Depends®, give showers, take blood pressure, pulse… we see an overview of how the patient is doing.”

The students agreed the best part of the job is helping others. The worst part?

“Dealing with death.”

Nearly all students are on a career track toward becoming RN’s (Registered Nurses) or LPN’s (Licensed Practical Nurses). One student planned on going into Physical Therapy while another had taken the first step on the long road to Pediatrician. One student planned on being a Phlebotamist…

“Yeah, she wants to be a vampire,” quipped one of her classmates.

The graduating class – which met in the evenings - consisted of adult learners, recent high school graduates, even a girl who won’t graduate high school until spring.

“This is a great opportunity,” said one woman who had been out of the workforce for three years. “Without experience there are just no jobs out there.”

Would the students recommend the program?

“Yes!” Unanimous, then “As long as Stephanie Lind is the teacher,” they added. “She’s awesome, amazing.”

Greenville City Council President John Burkett and Greenville City School Board President Sue Bowman did the honors handing the certificates out to the students.

“You have upgraded the city significantly,” Burkett, a former teacher in the school district, said. “You have worked at improving yourselves. You are to be congratulated.”

The students who will be starting on their health careers are Logan Adkins, Vickie Burton, Colleen Fry, Dreema Garber, Ashley Massey, Raychel Shumaker, Danielle Smith, Joni Thomas, Tammy Wolf, Samantha Schmidt and Katie Smallwood.

According to Marc Saluk, Director of the Darke County Economic Development Office, this is a collaboration between Partnering for Progress, local businesses and the Career Development Center.

“A lot of our workforce efforts at this point have been getting people into the workplace,” he said. “They have to be better equipped to join the workforce and we’ve been working on skilled positions because we know there’s a shortage.”

This is the first one designed specifically to address one shortage… also the P4P’s first foray into the healthcare field, he noted.

“This went smoother and faster than anything we’ve done in the past,” Saluk said. “I simply can’t thank Emily Powers at the CTEC (Career Technology Education Center) enough for the success of this program.”

He noted the employers were pleased as were the students.

“This has generated more response from potential students than anything we’ve done in the past,” he added. “We’ve had a lot of requests from people who want to get into the program… so we’ll be doing this again.”


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