NRCC offering several short-term health care programs

Clinical medical assistant, nurse aide and pharmacy technician are now being offered as short-term health care programs with the Office of Workforce Development at New River Community College.

Nurse aides provide hands-on care to patients in medical settings, helping with bathing, dressing and the basic activities of life. Daily activities a nurse aide might encounter includes taking patients’ temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs. They will help with patients’ or clients’ needs under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam to become a Certified Nurse Aide. This program will start classes in September.

Michele Keesling is instructing this program. She received her master’s degree in adult and gerontology nurse practitioner from Walden University, her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Liberty University and her associate degree in nursing from Wytheville Community College. Keesling has been a nurse for 13 years, and has been a director of nursing in long-term care and a director of education. She is currently an adult and gerontology nurse practitioner that works with hematology and oncology patients.

Clinical medical assistant is a new program at NRCC that will start classes in August. Clinical medical assistants work closely with patients and physicians; take vital signs, interview patients, record patient information, perform phlebotomy and EKGs, and provide point-of-care testing. The program will also cover the latest HIPAA regulations, the Electronic Health Record and how to care for special populations. Upon successful completion, graduates will be eligible to apply for registration as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant in Virginia and be prepared to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam.

Jennifer Rogers is the clinical medical assistant instructor. She received her master of public health degree from the University of Memphis, her bachelor’s degree in human services from Bluefield College and her associate degree in medical assisting from American National University. Rogers has been a practicing medical assistant for 20 years, and has worked in a variety of clinical specialties including obstetrics and gynecology, occupational health, family and community medicine, and urgent care. She has developed and taught medical assisting programs for a Job Corps Center, as well as trained and mentored new medical assistants.

The pharmacy technician program has been offered at NRCC for the past two years and will continue in July with a new instructor. The course covers techniques and procedures needed to assist the pharmacist in delivery of pharmaceutical products and services. The main objective is to provide the students with a working knowledge of the most important aspects of pharmacy in community and institutional practice settings. Upon successful completion, graduates will be eligible to take the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam and then apply for registration as a Pharmacy Technician in Virginia.

Stacy Walls is instructing this program. She received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from West Virginia University and has spent most of her career in retail and nursing home pharmacies. During her career, she has served as a preceptor for University of Charleston College of Pharmacy and mentored pharmacy students from West Virginia University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Nebraska.

These courses are three of eight NRCC FastForward programs that provide affordable and short-term training through the Office of Workforce Development.

For more information about these programs or to register, call 540-674-3613 and ask for Kim Matthews.