College officials announced Thursday the introduction of the first two continuing education certifications in allied health at the college’s Canton campus as well as an associate of applied science degree in clinical laboratory technology.
The non-credit phlebotomy and certified nursing assistant programs, already offered at the school’s Marietta campus and the North Metro campus in Acworth, have been in high demand among students at all of the college’s
Now they are available in Canton.
“With career opportunities in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, hospices and other medical facilities, certified individuals are poised to begin a career as allied health professionals,” said Dougie Taylor, director of community and economic development at Chattahoochee Technical College.
The certified laboratory technician degree will offer three courses beginning in the fall and will require a total of 89 course hours, or about seven semesters as a full-time student.
Robin Aiken, CLT program director, said it will prepare students to pursue their passion in the medical field in a supervised, hands-on classroom with a 1:12 teacher-to-student ratio. She said students will learn all areas of a clinical laboratory, including blood banking, chemistry, hematology, and hemostasis, urinalysis, immunology and microbiology.
Aiken, who previously taught the course at the former DeKalb Technical College in Clarkston, said her students will learn the skills needed to become clinical laboratory technicians, or CLTs, and could expect to work in hospital, reference and research laboratories as well as physicians’ offices, forensics and industry laboratories.
“I approached the college with this class idea and Chattahoochee Tech was excited about the program,” Aiken, who came to the school in January, said. “It will be the only clinical lab program in the whole northwest corridor of Georgia.”
Aiken said the median age of workers in the field now is about 60 years old.
“They are retiring about 10,000 (CLTs) a year while we are only educating about 5,000,” Aiken said. “We’ve definitely got a shortage of lab workers so we want to get the word out and let (students) know the program is here.”
Aiken also quoted a Georgia Department of Labor report citing the job market for the field is expected to grow by 15 percent in the next eight years.
Those wondering if they should take the course should have “a love of solving puzzles and problems, because that’s what we will be doing for most of the time,” Aiken said.
The non-credit phlebotomy course will begin July 30 with classes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through August 20.
The second non-credit offering, the Certified Nursing Assistant sequence, will begin Sept. 10 and will be held 6 to 10 p.m. through Oct. 16. Successful completion of the CNA course, including 76 hours of lecture and lab instruction and 24 hours of supervised clinical rotation, will prepare students to take the state certification exam.
Economic Development Coordinator Joan Chadwick said students will learn all the basics of taking care of patients in a short time frame.
“This is a great first step for someone interested in exploring a career in healthcare,” Chadwick said. “Many of our former students enjoy working with patients so much that they come back to study one of the many allied health programs for additional certifications, degrees and diplomas.”
Chadwick said she recently had a veteran enroll in the program after the woman took care of her own parents and felt she found her calling in healthcare.
“I think we can really help people in the area get jobs and understand that this could be a great career move or career change,” Chadwick said.
Each of the two non-credit courses costs less than $1,000, including textbooks, certification fees and supplies. The phlebotomy program costs $799 and the CNA program costs $989.
Funding is available for those who qualify through the Work Force Investment Act and the Veterans Administration.
Seats are available in both programs. Interested individuals should contact Elaine Mahon at (770) 528-4524 or at elaine.mahon @chattahoocheetech.edu for more information, including program details and other requirements.