Author Archives: OkCareerTechDelivers

Oklahoma CareerTech part of effort to help nurses return to field faster

A change in an Oklahoma nurse refresher course could help supply more nurses at a time when they are critically needed.

The statewide nurse refresher course is part of a partnership between the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Nine Oklahoma CareerTech technology centers offer the course for nurses who do not have an active license but want to return to practice.

Oklahoma’s critical nursing shortage worsened in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic increased the demand for nurses. Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses who do not have active licenses to practice in Oklahoma must complete the refresher course before they return to the field — or in some cases begin a nursing career. The course is designed for those who have left the field and for those who never took their board exams.

The program includes a self-paced, online nursing theoretical course, a nursing skills lab provided by Oklahoma CareerTech technology centers and a clinical experience that will show students’ clinical competency.

Previously students had to complete 80 hours and complete the skills lab and the clinical rotation separately. Now, the two parts have been combined, and students must complete only 40 hours if they achieve baseline competency. Students who are not successful within the first 40 hours may need to complete in-person clinical rotations.

Students can also save time in the online course by showing what they know; those who don’t pass chapter tests will have to review the content, but those who pass can move on, said Lara Morris, Oklahoma CareerTech health careers education state program manager.

“We are specifically doing this in response to the COVID surge and the need for more nurses to be used at the bedside and for replacing nurses who have moved to hospitals from clinics and other nursing positions,” Morris said.

The cost for the program was reduced further by making the clinical rotation virtual with a simulation resource designed to enhance clinical judgment. The virtual clinical portion of the course will save students money, Morris said, because they will not have to pay for travel to clinicals, uniforms, background checks and vaccine requirements.

“The hope is to streamline the process while saving the student time and money,” Morris said.

Technology centers offering the course are Autry Tech, Canadian Valley Tech, Green Country Tech, Kiamichi Tech, Meridian Tech, Metro Tech, Moore Norman Tech, Southern Tech and Tulsa Tech.

More information about the nurse refresher course can be found on the Oklahoma CareerTech website. Information about reinstating an RN or LPN license can be found on the Oklahoma Board of Nursing website.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 399 PK-12 school districts, 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult basic education service providers.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

Caddo Kiowa Tech students help with vaccine clinics

Caddo Kiowa Technology Center practical nursing students assisted the Caddo County Health Department in administering COVID-19 vaccines to Caddo County first responders, police and firefighters.

Practical nursing students at Caddo Kiowa Technology Center have helped the Caddo County Health Department with five COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

Students were asked to volunteer on their winter break. They have helped vaccinate first responders, police, firefighters and people who are 65 years old and older.

In two weeks, the students helped vaccinate more than 3,000 people. The clinics gave them the opportunity to receive real world training during a pandemic.

CareerTech Champions

Heather Yazdanipour – Metro Technology Centers

An emergency led Heather Yazdanipour to a career as an EMT.

Then: Her arm was crushed in an industrial accident, and she was unable to return to her current job. Heather Yazdanipour said her employer offered her the opportunity for vocational education through CareerTech.

Before the accident, Yazdanipourwas pursuing an art degree. Everyone in her family worked in the medical field, so when she was forced to reevaluate her career, she decided to follow their leads. She said the paramedic program at Metro Technology Centers sounded interesting. She enrolled and said she quickly “got the medical bug.”

After completing the paramedic training at Metro Tech, Yazdanipour

  • Worked for an ambulance service in Oklahoma City.
  • Taught EMT basic at Metro Tech.
  • Worked her way up to teaching the paramedic program.

Now: Yazdanipour used her Metro Tech training to create a paramedic program at EMSA. She continued to work her way up and is now in charge of EMSA’s disaster management program, with divisions in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

Related content: A gift that will keep giving to Oklahoma’s health care system

Northeast Tech gets Google grant

Northeast Technology Center was recently awarded a $55,000 grant by Google for its virtual welding training project.

The donation will help Northeast Tech use virtual tools to improve the hands-on learning process for students in the welding program, said Roger Crutchfield, superintendent. For more, about the grant, visit the News on 6 website.

Tinker AFB donation will help Mid-Del Tech students

Mid-Del Technology Center recently received a KC-135 outboard wing for its aircraft sheet metal program, thanks to Tinker Air Force Base.

After learning of a need for students to learn to drill and shoot rivets on aircraft curved surfaces, Tinker officials worked with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona to ship the outboard wing. Tinker received the wing in September, but Mid-Del was unable to get it then because of COVID-19. Mid-Del worked with a shipping company, which delivered the wing this month. It will be used to help the students understand how to work on curved surfaces.

Oklahoma CareerTech uses virtual format to introduce students to career possibilities

More than 16,000 students in 20 PK-12 and technology center districts across Oklahoma are learning more about nontraditional careers in a new Oklahoma CareerTech initiative.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education launched the VirtualJobShadow.com initiative as a way to encourage more students to investigate nontraditional careers. A nontraditional career is one in which less than 25 percent of the labor force is of one gender.

VirtualJobShadow.com is an online, video-based exploration and career planning platform designed to help students and job seekers learn more about themselves, career pathways and skills needed for independent living. It features videos showing a day in the life of men and women at employer worksites.

“This new platform empowers students to learn more about careers that suit their interests,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director. “Through hundreds of professionally produced videos, our goal is to boost student awareness, interest and eventual employment in nontraditional careers.”

The platform turned out to be ideal for schools during the COVID-19 pandemic because it is video-based, said Steven Aragon, equity/diversity professional development specialist at ODCTE. In addition to workplaces, the videos show students in classrooms learning the skills they will need for various careers.

“There’s one with a female auto mechanics instructor teaching female students how to balance tires,” Aragon said. “We know in education — and other areas, for that matter — we need to see people who look like us. It’s one of the biggest ways to get students excited and thinking about possibilities they’ve never thought about — seeing people who look like them doing things.”

ODCTE sent recruitment letters to technology center and PK-12 school districts last summer with the hope of reaching 15,000 students in Oklahoma. Districts submitted proposals, and those approved began using VirtualJobShadow.com in September, Aragon said. To date, about 20 districts use the pilot program, with more than 16,400 student users. Tulsa Public Schools has more than 14,000 student users alone, Aragon said.

High Plains Technology Center in Woodward uses VirtualJobShadow.com in its Technical Applications Program to introduce elementary and middle school students to career and technology education.

“The students are exploring careers and being exposed to things they didn’t know. It is opening their eyes to the endless career options available,” said Danna Goss, HPTC middle school TAP instructor.

VirtualJobShadow.com also includes curriculum and tools to help instructors create lessons for their students, along with reporting tools that can help instructors, administrators and parents track students’ progress and career interests.

Assessment of the initiative, which uses money from the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, will begin in the spring, Aragon said, with data collection starting in March. ODCTE will make a decision about continuing the program based on the data, he explained.

“If it is doing what we want it to do and making a difference, we’ll keep doing it,” he said.

For more information about VirtualJobShadow.com, go to https://www.virtualjobshadow.com/ or contact Steven Aragon at steven.aragon@careertech.ok.gov or 405-743-5180. To see a video about the initiative, go to https://www.virtualjobshadow.com/partners/non-traditional-careers-overview/.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 399 PK-12 school districts, 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult basic education service providers.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

CareerTech Horizon Podcast: “Showing You Care”

2020 has been called a lot of things, and most of them aren’t very nice. But at least one positive situation has emerged from this challenging year – a profound appreciation of our frontline health care workers.

As COVID-19 fills hospitals with critically ill patients, nursing homes battle the virus among its patients and staff, and front line nurses give countless COVID tests and now…vaccines…now, more than ever, Oklahomans owe a debt of gratitude to workers in the health care industry and those who train health care workers.

In this season finale episode:

  • We talk about the worldwide nursing shortage and its effect on Oklahoma’s health care system.
  • Connie Romans tells us about a generous gift from a CareerTech grad that’s benefiting health care educators and students across the state.
  • We hear about some of the challenges of training students for health careers – in the middle of a pandemic.
  • We’re reminded that men and women can follow whatever career path they choose…especially in health care!

You can subscribe to our podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, TuneIn, Stitcher, or ask your smart speaker to “Play CareerTech Horizon.”

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @CT_Horizon, or on Facebook to stay up to date with this ongoing project. Visit our website for show notes, episode trailers, and bonus content “Beyond Your Horizon” at http://cthorizon.org

Beyond Your Horizon — Articles, videos, and bonus content

Getting Started in Health Careers
EMSA Bed Donations
Related Episodes
Classic Horizon Stories

CareerTech Champions

Corey Martin – FCCLA

Then: Not your typical high school freshman. Corey Martin was a gifted artist, and even as a high school freshman, he loved to sew. Martin said his family and consumer sciences teacher (then home ec) recruited him for her class. There, the Okeene High School student flourished. He used his artistic skills to decorate for school events, such as the school’s annual style show, and he sewed for competitive events. Martin graduated from Fort Cobb-Broxton High School, and said his involvement in FHA (now FCCLA) taught him

  • Basic life skills like setting up a budget and balancing a checkbook.
  • Meal preparation.
  • Sewing skills.

“Through FHA I developed as a leader and a communicator,” he said. “These skills have become very valuable in my adult life, both professionally and personally.”

Martin said the most valuable lesson he learned was to appreciate people. He learned the importance of creating a network of peers and friends, which is extremely important in the theater industry.

In college, Martin majored in musical theater and costume design. He designed theatrical productions and began working from home, creating costumes and evening wear for individual clients. From 2007-2010, he worked as an installer on cruise ships. On the ships he fit, altered and repaired costumes for the new performers.

Now: A member of IATSE 705 Motion Picture Costumers Union. Martin is listed as a women’s custom-made pattern maker, fitter and tailor and has worked in 11 states and 22 countries. Most recently, he was working on a new series for Amazon, not yet released. He hopes to continue to work in the film and TV industry. Martin has started writing and hopes to create a movie or series of his own.

“I often serve as a leader in whatever costume shop or production I am working on. If I had not developed my sewing skills and the leadership qualities I learned in FHA, I would not be where I am today.”
Corey Martin, costume designer

CareerTech Horizon Podcast: “Power Up!”

When is the last time you thought about what goes into keeping power going to your home, uninterrupted?

Oklahoma’s thriving and evolving energy industry can be found in many forms. Whether it’s oil, gas, hydroelectric, wind, or solar energy, careers in this field can be lucrative and rewarding, but with a growing gap for skilled labor around the state, energy leaders hope more students sign on to technical programs to keep things going.

In this episode:

  • Horizon travels the state to hear from energy leaders on the challenges they are facing, and the new programs in place to help alleviate the energy skills gap.
  • Two students from very different backgrounds are profiled, and who are training for two very different jobs, but are ultimately working for the same goal.
  • They climb hundreds of feet to get a good view of the wind energy industry, and learn about the technical and safety demands of the job.
  • Listen in on a panel discussion, as Oklahoma’s energy experts discuss what parts of the industry will change in the coming years, and what parts will stay the same.
Episode 8: “Power Up!” Listen on your favorite podcasting app or on the Horizon website

You can subscribe to the Horizon podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, TuneIn, Stitcher, or ask your smart speaker to “Play CareerTech Horizon.”

Also, don’t forget to follow them on Twitter @CT_Horizon, or on Facebook to stay up to date with this ongoing project. Visit their website for show notes, episode trailers, and bonus content “Beyond Your Horizon” at http://cthorizon.org.

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