Healthcare students celebrate certification

Published 4:56 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

Beaufort County Community College turned out more qualified healthcare workers as students from the nurse aide I, nurse aide II, phlebotomy and registered medical assistant programs achieved their certificates. The continuing education division held a ceremony on December 17 for graduates of the summer and fall healthcare programs.

Twelve students finished the nurse aide I program, five completed the nurse aide II program, five completed the phlebotomy program and five completed the registered medical assistant program.

Deadra Brown, Laquisha Bryant, Brianna Buck, Cherryl Caballero, Vanntissue Collins, Jennifer Hobbs, Desember Mears, Jasmine Moore, Gray Riffert, Akida Spencer, Keaton Stilley and Jamy Turner all graduated from the nurse aide I program. Hope Blount, Briseida Chavez-Trejo, Harmony Harris, Candace Parker and Kayle Sawyer all graduated from the nurse aide II class. Graduates from the phlebotomy program included Seleni Gonsalez, Margaritt Hodge, Deanie Johnson, Alma Luis-Vasquez and Ana Luis-Vasquez. The registered medical assistant graduates were Alissa Batchelor, Tavonda Gibbs, Mary Hawkins, Kizzy Moore and Hayley Wallace.

Stacey Gerard, VP of continuing education, spoke at the ceremony about practicing empathy.

Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects these fields to grow by about 11 percent by 2026 with the demand for phlebotomists rising by 25 percent. Rural areas have a high demand for these fields, as they tend to have older populations in need of routine healthcare and long-term care. To meet this growing demand, BCCC will offer nurse aide I classes at the Hyde County-Davis Center in Engelhard.

Graduates of the nurse aide programs can provide personal care and perform basic nursing skills for elderly adults. Phlebotomy students learn to draw blood. Registered medical assistants can work in locations that require coding and clerical work, along with basic nursing skills.

Students participate in clinical internships as part of the program in locations such as Agape Community Health Center in Washington, Vidant Family Medicine in Chocowinity or Vidant Multispecialty Clinic in Belhaven. Some students from the summer class could not be at the ceremony because they are already employed at local clinics and healthcare facilities.

“Whether this is a first step into the healthcare field or an opportunity to expand their skills, these students are moving into promising careers that will sustain their families and our community,” said Jackie Butcher, director of healthcare programs for continuing education.

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