CHARLOTTE (June 30, 2022) – Central Piedmont Community College offers training in more than 20 health-care fields.
There’s Nursing, of course, and nurses are in great demand.
But Karen Summers, Dean of Health Sciences at Central Piedmont, says many students simply aren’t aware of all the other opportunities in health care.
“If they’ve never really been sick, then they know a nurse and a physician. And they don’t know what a respiratory therapist does, what an occupational therapist does, what a physical therapist does, what a massage therapist does,” Summers says in the accompanying video.
“We hope we have something for everybody.”
Some students aren’t comfortable working with blood or other body fluids, Summers says. So Central Piedmont’s Cardiovascular Technology program has both an invasive track that involves working in a cardiac catheterization lab and inserting stents; and a non-invasive track that involves administering stress tests and EKGs.
Central Piedmont offers a Surgical Technology program, Summers says, where instructors tell students: “That’s (the) closest you’re gonna get to being a surgeon without being a surgeon, standing in the OR, assisting the surgeon.”
The college is also considering a program in Sterile Processing that would serve as an entry to surgical technology.
”We’re the only community college in the country that offers that program – it’s a post-baccalaureate certificate,” Summers says. “In 11 months, our students take 57 credits, but they’re graduating and taking their biology degree where they couldn’t get a job and 11 months later, making $65,000, $75,000, going all over the country.”
There’s training for Medical Assistants, who work in doctor’s offices taking vital signs, removing sutures or delivering immunizations.
“That’s a profession that’s in very high demand and we can’t graduate ‘em fast enough,” Summers says.
Or there’s Opthalmic Medical Personnel, where students can earn an 11-month diploma or a two-year associate degree as they learn to check eyeglass prescriptions, set up exam rooms and conduct glaucoma pressure tests. The program has been well-received by Charlotte’s high concentration of ophthalmologists, Summers says.
“There’s over 250 allied health professions,” she says. “So we really have something for everybody – it’s kind of finding the right fit for our students.”