(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Jobs, of all levels, are in demand in the health industry, especially in the medically underserved Rio Grande Valley, and Workforce Training at Texas State Technical College is helping employers meet their needs and fill a skills gap with its new Allied Health courses being offered.
This is the first time that TSTC’s Workforce Training offers a collection of health courses: Electrocardiography (EKG) Technician, certified nursing assistant and phlebotomy, the process of making an incision in a vein with a needle to draw blood or hook up an IV.
Phlebotomy is a returning course. It was offered in the past and brought back due to popular demand from local health clinics and hospitals.
“With the increase of health clinics and dialysis and plasma centers our region is seeing, the demand for highly skilled employees is growing,” said TSTC Workforce Training coordinator Myra Deleon. “We get calls from health professionals requesting we implement such training, so in return they can hire our students.”
Deleon added that all allied courses align with the Texas Health and Human Services requirements and guidelines, making graduates from the programs even more marketable upon successful completion.
In fact, the first phlebotomy cohort graduated in April and many of those students have already found positions.
One of those graduates is Elizabeth Alvarez. Alvarez recently accepted an offer from Davita, a local kidney and dialysis care clinic as a patient care technician.
With experience in the medical field as a medical assistant, Alvarez said she felt she needed training in phlebotomy to improve her skills, but was unable to find a training facility until she found TSTC’s Workforce training course.
“I’m that person who loves to evolve and learn new things. I want to be well-rounded in the health field,” said Alvarez. “And I feel that TSTC’s phlebotomy course has opened up doors of opportunity for me.”
Alvarez said that she recommends this course for anyone looking to improve or gain a skill. She added that the course included in an in-depth look into the phlebotomy processes and the hands-on training provided during class and in clinicals fully prepared her to enter the workforce.
“I can only go up from here,” she said. “This is a great stepping stone for me and I hope to explore other career options soon as well, hopefully back at TSTC.”
Phlebotomy is a six to eight-week course. Students who complete the course receive a certificate of completion which allows them to work anywhere, such as hospitals, medical offices and dialysis clinics.
Applications for the next Phlebotomy course beginning July 22 are already being accepted.
The EKG and nursing assistant courses are also currently taking applications and begin in Fall 2019.
Both courses are also eight weeks long and will cover all of the foundation and basic skills necessary to find a successful career in industry.
EKG will cover everything from learning how to use and maintain an EKG machine to reading and reporting heart rhythms, while nursing assistant will focus on all aspects of patient care, bedside manners and communication.
“All of this aligns with TSTC’s mission of placing more Texans into good paying jobs and meeting industry demand,” said Deleon. “We hope that these programs will be a stepping stone for many of these students and that they’ll matriculate into TSTC’s health programs such as vocational nursing or registered nursing, to continue their education and find even greater success.”
Information sessions are being held every Tuesday at 2 p.m. at TSTC’s University Center, Room 101.
For more information on Workforce Training and the courses they offer, visit tstc.edu/workforce/ce, or call 956-364-4567.