College’s healthcare students finding work by graduation time
Published 5:39 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019
Applications being accepted for spring semester
By Wendy Harrison
Many graduates of FastForward programs at Paul D. Camp Community College, such as Fast Track Healthcare, are scheduling job interviews before they even graduate. The majority of those job positions do not require a long commute. And guess what else? No medical background is required.
The program allows students to earn three in-demand credentials, which are clinical medical assistant, electrocardiogram technician and phlebotomy technician. Another plus is the fact the students can test for all three certifications on-site through the National Healthcareer Association.
“Since the program got underway in 2018, we have graduated 44 medical assistants, 45 EKG technicians and 45 phlebotomy technicians,” said program lead Dawn Womble. “Currently, we have another 16 CMA, 17 EKG techs and 45 phlebotomy techs enrolled.”
Those students are training at the Hobbs Suffolk Campus and will graduate in December.
Ashley Rife of Carrsville, a traditional student who completed all parts of the program to graduate in December 2018, wound up at orientation for her new job with Bayview Physicians Group at North Suffolk Family Medicine the morning of her graduation at Camp.
“(The college) puts their students in clinical sites that are potential job opportunities,” Rife said. “And they were always there to encourage me when things were tough.”
CMA and EKG programs tout more than a 90 percent pass rate, while the phlebotomy technician certifications boast 100 percent pass rate.
Certified medical assistants are multi-skilled and handle clinical and administrative roles, while an EKG technician can set up and administer EKGs and stress tests, among other duties. Phlebotomy technicians have routine tasks, among them are drawing blood and maintaining medical equipment.
The recent emphasis on providing more opportunities for workforce training in Virginia is a two-fold solution for industries and job seekers. But the program would not be so successful without the support of many community partners who allow the students to complete the clinical part of their studies at their facilities, such as Bayview Physicians Group, Southampton Memorial Hospital Laboratory, Horizon Healthcare of Ivor and Waverly, Chesapeake Bay ENT of Churchland and Lifetime Women’s Health.
“We are currently working with Sentara Lab Services, James River Cardiology and Patient First to give our students more of a variety of clinical settings and employment opportunities,” said Womble. Although Bayview Physicians Group has employed most of the students, graduates are also working at Sentara Obici Hospital, Lifetime Women’s Health, Horizon Healthcare, James River Cardiology, Midatlantic Health Solutions, as well as other medical facilities throughout Hampton Roads.
Laquita Goodman of Suffolk graduated from the first Fast Track Healthcare program in December 2018.
“The program is intense, as there is a lot of information taught in a short amount of time,” she said. “Be prepared to hit the ground running.”
An information session will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 3:30 p.m., in the Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin. Only 20 students are accepted to each class of the CMA program, however an additional five can be enrolled in the EKG and phlebotomy technician classes. Two program sessions are offered each year, alternating between the Franklin Campus in spring and Hobbs Suffolk Campus in fall.
Funding opportunities are available. Spring 2020 classes will be taught at Camp’s Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin and will start on Monday, Jan. 13. If you are unable to make the information session, call the workforce office, 569-6050, or email Womble prior to Thursday, Sept. 26, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WENDY HARRISON is the public relations specialist for Camp Community College. Contact her at email@example.com.