Category Archives: Health Careers Education

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

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

Logan Drury – Meridian Technology Center and HOSA

This nursing student is paying for college one vial at a time.

THEN: A rodeo queen who grew up riding horses and competing in rodeos. Logan Drury loved her equestrian activities, but she always knew she wanted to be a nurse. The Mulhall-Orlando high school student knew a nursing career would require college, which would require money — which would require skills. Not a problem for this forward-thinking young woman! Drury enrolled in Meridian Technology Center’s health careers program, hoping to learn skills that would allow her to supplement her income and find work in a field she enjoyed while she was going to college. At Meridian Tech, she

  • Learned time management and project prioritization.
  • Learned venipuncture and how to draw blood.
  • Learned patient care.
  • Was a member of HOSA – Future Health Professionals, the career and technology student organization associated with health careers education.

“I enjoyed the hands-on approach of my classes, and I loved the fact that my instructors were actually nurses themselves,” she said. “They didn’t just read or lecture about health careers; they drew from their own experiences.”

After completing the health careers program, Drury passed the National Healthcareer Association’s phlebotomy exam and became a certified phlebotomy technician.

NOW: Drury works as a phlebotomist at Stillwater Medical Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Because she is certified, she started at a higher pay rate when she was hired. She attends nursing school at Northern Oklahoma College. Her initial goal is to become a registered nurse, eventually obtaining a bachelor of science in nursing degree and possibly a doctor of nursing practice degree.

“Many times, students think you have to either go to college or go to work. With CareerTech, you can do both.”

Logan Drury
phlebotomist and nursing student

CareerTech, vet med association partner to teach veterinary assistants

A new Oklahoma CareerTech certification exam will help veterinary assistants show they have the skills they need to care for the state’s animal population.

CareerTech is working with the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association to offer veterinary assistant certification for individuals completing the OVMA Certified Veterinary Assistant Program. The program is designed to help veterinary practices spend less time training new employees while ensuring the employees have the skills they need.

“We are pleased to partner with the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association to offer this certification exam,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director. “Oklahoma CareerTech Testing Center has used its proven blueprint to develop an effective assessment with subject matter experts and will deploy the certification on the existing infrastructure, allowing for increased access to the testing across the state.”

Individuals working in the field can complete the OVMA Certified Veterinary Assistant Program at their own pace and then take the certification exam that the CareerTech Testing Center developed with a committee of subject matter experts. Once they’ve earned certification they can renew it every year with continuing education and a renewal fee.

The program’s goals are to increase levels of professionalism and customer service, encourage a culture of teamwork, increase the knowledge of animal care and increase the knowledge of proper handling techniques.

“The Oklahoma Certified Veterinary Assistant Program through the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association will ensure that students and workers are prepared to enter the veterinary world by providing a solid foundation of knowledge required to be successful in the clinic setting,” said Dr. Jennifer Schoonover, a veterinarian and OVMA president. “Veterinarians will be able to feel confident in hiring certified individuals and in continuing their staff’s education through this program due to the standard skill set covered.

“However, I think we can all agree the greatest benefit will be allowing veterinarians to better provide a consistent high quality of care to their patients and clientele.”

Individuals are required to apply for the program and then complete 100 hours of supervised training before taking the exam. CTTC’s network of testing sites at Oklahoma technology centers will give participants easier access for taking the exam.

For more information about the Certified Veterinary Assistants Program, visit https://okvma.org/veterinary-assistants-program/. For more information about the certification exam, visit https://www.okcareertech.org/educators/assessments-and-testing/health-certification-project-hcp/veterinary-assistant/veterinary-assistant.

About CareerTech Testing Center

As a service of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, the CareerTech Testing Center has provided standards and assessments for career and technology education programs since 1985. It also partners with numerous state agencies to develop and deliver examinations required for certifications and licensures.

About Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association

The Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, a professional trade organization for veterinarians, was formed in 1907 and incorporated in 1934. The membership of the association is composed of more than 1,000 individual Oklahoma veterinarians, Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences faculty, veterinary students, out-of-state veterinarians and allied members.

CareerTech Champions

Samir Elneser – Metro Technology Centers and HOSA

This man’s wife didn’t need an X-ray to see her husband’s passion for health care.

THEN: A bachelor’s degree in business information systems guided him toward a career in marketing and retail, but when Samir Elneser was in his 40s, he was suddenly laid off and looking for a new job.

Elneser was born in the United States to immigrants from Colombia and Lebanon. The son of a doctor, he chose not to follow in his father’s footsteps. When the younger Elneser lost his job, however, his wife convinced him to reconsider the medical field. He took her advice, training as a nurse’s aide and going to work in a hospital. There he discovered he was more interested in the work being done by the radiologic technologists.

He found a full-time RT program at Metro Technology Centers. He joined HOSA, the CareerTech student organization affiliated with health careers education, winning gold medals at both state and international competitions. Elneser

  • Found his lifelong profession at Metro Tech.
  • Learned to take patient X-rays.
  • Received the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists radiography certification.

“Taking X-rays requires creating a high level of patient comfort through proper positioning and communication,” he said. “I also interact and engage with many different patients in a typical day, and I enjoy that diversity.”

NOW: A radiologic technologist at Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center-Norman, OU Medicine and Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City. Elneser finished the program with 15 classmates he considers close friends.

 He said Metro Tech was invested in his success. Even when the program was challenging, Elneser said, he knew he had the support of his teachers.

“My teachers held me and my classmates accountable while instilling the confidence we needed to be the best.”

Samir Elneser, radiologic technologist

The 53rd Annual Oklahoma Summit

Oklahoma Summit - 53rd Logo

  • Registration is open.
  • Summit dates are Aug. 4-5.

The 53rd Annual Oklahoma Summit will be held virtually this year.

Online Registration

All participants are strongly advised to register in advance to provide a quicker, more efficient log-in experience. Beginning July 8, online registration requires you to fill out your personal information for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education to enter into its new data storage system. After you complete your information for ODCTE, you will continue on to the OkACTE website to verify your personal information with OkACTE. From there, you will proceed with registration and membership options. The online registration/membership is located on a secured site. When registering, please be sure to print your paid receipt. This will help facilitate your log-in process.

Register Here for Oklahoma Summit 2020

For any questions or assistance with online Summit registration, please contact the OkACTE office at 405-525-8906 or

CareerTech Champions

Raylynn Thompson – Indian Capital Technology Center and HOSA

Biomed program is just what this future doctor ordered.

Thompson

THEN: A voracious learner who said she ran out of classes to take by the time she was a sophomore in high school. Raylynn Thompson had completed pre-AP biology and the introductory Project Lead The Way courses at Muskogee High School. When she heard about Indian Capital Technology Center’s biomedical academy, she knew it was a perfect fit. She enrolled as a high school junior in order to take the advanced classes she needed to reach her medical career goals.

Raylynn worked long, hard hours to complete the biomed program. She even found time to serve as chapter president of HOSA, the CareerTech student organization for future
health professionals. Her efforts earned her the designation of Stern Award Recipient Valedictorian of her high school class, with a weighted GPA of 4.7. When she graduated from MHS, Raylynn had already earned 31 college credits.

She attributes much of her success to Indian Capital, which helped her

  • Gain acceptance into 65 universities.
  • Receive multiple full-ride scholarships.
  • Develop classroom skills that allow her to better understand college coursework.

The academy provided Raylynn with a knowledge base that allows her to better grasp concepts in her college biology and calculus courses.

“Since I was exposed to it early on,” she said, “I understand it better, easier and faster.”

NOW: Raylynn accepted a full-ride scholarship at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, where she enrolled as a sophomore biology major with a concentration on medicine. She said that although the curriculum is challenging, she finds herself assisting classmates who are further along in their education.

She plans to graduate from ASU in three years. She then plans to go to medical school to become a neonatologist, a pediatrician who specializes in the care of newborn infants.

“CareerTech students begin with the end in mind, so they don’t undervalue the work they’re doing.”

Raylynn Thompson

 

Pontotoc Tech Grads Become International HOSA Champions

Amanda London and Trinity Roe, 2020 practical nursing graduates from Pontotoc Technology Center in Ada, placed first in their category in HOSA International Leadership Conference competition with a service project to promote community awareness of meningitis.

Their project began with a presentation and expanded to include maroon ribbons, a video and a Facebook page. They placed second in state competition before advance to the international competition.

You can read more on The Ada News website.

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