Medical Tech Prep course provides ‘unique, hands-on’ experiences

By Heather Meade hmeade@civitasmedia.com

February 23, 2014

GREENVILLE - The Medical Tech prep class at the Greenville Career Tech Education Center (CTC) is growing in popularity, and providing opportunities for students to engage in different fields of the medical community said instructor, Emily Powers.

Not only does the CTC offer a program for students, they’ve also begun offering a State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA) program for adults who want to enter the medical field, Powers said, and just graduated their second class for a total of 30 graduates.

It’s a good cross-over program, Powers said, because anyone going into the medical field can use it as a foundation for their career.

“First and foremost, I think it’s very important for anyone entering the medical field to have an appropriate bedside manner,” Powers stated. “Some of my students want to go on to medical school and to become surgeons, but I really feel it’s important for them to get the basic knowledge of how to take care of someone first, how to communicate with them, how to care for them, and how to make sure they’re appropriately cared for by others. So I think it’s a really good baseline knowledge for them to build upon as they further their education.”

The training also helps foster compassion in the students, Powers said.

“We’re fostering that compassion so that they have a respect for who these individuals are, and when they’re dealing with patients, I think that makes it easier to to care for them,” Powers noted.

Students get unique, hands-on experiences through week-long internship opportunities set up throughout Darke County, Powers stated. They also learn medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and signs, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments associated with the different body systems, she said.

Powers encourages her students to choose internships based on their interests, but she also wants to help them widen their scope, she said, and encourages them to pick something they aren’t positive they’ll want to go into, or a placement adjacent to their main interests, she said.

“I currently have a senior who was set on being a critical care nurse, so I encouraged her to do rounds with rescue so she could see what happens before they get to her as a critical care nurse,” Powers said. “So she is now considering being an EMT before she goes to nursing school, because she fell in love with it. So I think it’s important for them to go out of their comfort zone and check out different areas to see.”

Med Tech students have a number of unique opportunities available to them, such as shadowing a detective investigating a case, which many may not even associate with the medical field, she said. Other opportunities have included shadowing obstetric surgeons, surgeons in the operating room, live births in the obstetric wing of the hospital, and shadowing Family Health personnel, Powers said.

“From my perspective, that actual intern job experience is essential for students to find out what they do want to do and what they don’t want to do in life,” Dave Peltz, CTC director, said. “So it’s a valuable, real-life experience that we’re able to provide and be a part of in the career tech programs. I think that’s extremely important to help students figure out what they want to do in life. And we’re partnering with our local community to provide those experiences, and that’s a fantastic opportunity.”

The CTC has partnered with community medical facilities, as well as their advisory board and the Partnering for Progress initiative, which has led to many upgrades and donations to their facility, Peltz noted.

“I think it’s a testament to Emily and her relationship skills, her ability to provide genuine care for both their education and their well-being, as well as developing partnerships with our local healthcare communities, it makes the program one that students really want to go into,” Peltz stated. “[These partnerships] have helped build our capacity for what we’re able to do. We’re growing, and that’s exciting.”