A second edition of KVCC’s Patient Care Academy, which trains people for entry-level positions in the growing health-care industry while introducing them to the possibility of career enhancement in its various fields, is scheduled to begin on Oct. 2. 

The first academy is under way at the Michigan Technical Education Center at KVCC’s Groves Campus. The 11 enrollees, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, are scheduled to complete their training on Sept. 2. All hail from Kalamazoo County communities.

Lesa Strausbaugh, KVCC’s director of academies, advises those who are interested in the program to take action.

“The application process for the Patient Care Academy is extensive,” she said.  “Once we receive an application, we assess the applicant’s background and conduct reference checks. A math and reading exam is scheduled. If that is passed, the applicant is interviewed. We select candidates based on qualifications for employment in health-care organizations.”

Candidates selected for the academy must take a physical exam, have a TB test, pass a criminal-background check, and complete other Michigan-required preliminaries prior to the beginning of training.

The training sessions will be held Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for 10 weeks.           

Regarding the first academy, Strausbaugh said that “some of the students are looking for experience in the health-care industry while they wait to get into nursing schools. Some are making career changes and others are looking to go into other areas of health care.”

The fee for the academy is $1,995.  Financial assistance is available through the Michigan Works “No Worker Left Behind” initiative and The Kalamazoo Promise. 

“One of the many factors that make this patient-care approach unique is that this program provides a more comprehensive training experience in several different patient-care careers, while presenting the foundational knowledge and hands-on familiarity needed to be successful in a health-care career through classroom discussion, lab work and clinical experience,” Strausbaugh said.

Over the 10 weeks, enrollees are trained in medical terminology, anatomy, workplace ethics and behavior, health-career exploration, communications, diversity, legal issues, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, first aid, and other specific patient-care skills.            

The Patient Care Academy teaches job skills that prepare enrollees for employment as a certified nurse assistant, a patient-care assistant or technician, a ward clerk, or other patient-care roles.             

Graduates are competent to seek jobs in long-term care, rehabilitation centers, in a hospice environment, medical offices, and hospitals.
Among the spectrum of duties and tasks are providing basic patient care to those who require minimal assistance or who are totally dependent in their daily lives. This may include feeding, dressing and grooming.

Patient-care technicians take temperature, pulse, respiration and blood-pressure measurements.  They can administer basic tests, assist in physical therapy, collect blood and tissue samples, sterilize equipment, and provide assistance in medical procedures.

Among the eligibility criteria are a high school diploma or G.E.D., a driver’s license, an ability to handle 50-pound loads, the ability to read, write and interpret instructions, have an energetic and positive attitude, be felony or misdemeanor free, pass a medical examination, and meet immunization requirements, and be at least 18 years old.

The instructional manager is Sally Kidman, who earned her degree as a registered nurse from Southwestern Michigan College and a bachelor’s in nursing from Spring Arbor College. 

Kidman has professional experience in cardiac, medical, surgical and gerontological nursing, and has worked in a variety of settings including acute, ambulatory and long-term care.  She has also worked in cardiac and surgical divisions at hospitals.            

“This academy can be a springboard to careers in other health-care professions,” Strausbaugh said. “For example, those on a waiting list for nursing can get this training in the interim and begin working in health care before beginning their nursing studies. ‘

Applications for the second academy can be found online at www.kvcc.edu/training.           

For more information, contact the Career Academies Office at (269) 353-1286 or careeracademies@kvcc.edu.

(c) 2010 WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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