Category Archives: Health Careers Education

CareerTech Champions

Kaydee Clark – Tulsa Technology Center and HOSA

CareerTech in high school gave this student-turned-instructor a way to pay for college.

THEN: One of three latchkey siblings with a single mom who worked two jobs to pay the bills. While her mother struggled to take care of the family and put food on the table, Kaydee Clark said, she was fighting battles of her own. Plagued with multiple health issues, she was in and out of health care facilities throughout high school.

Even though Clark’s mother worked hard, she couldn’t come up with college money for Clark or her siblings. Her brother and sister joined the military, but Kaydee needed to find a career. One of her mother’s jobs was medical assisting, and Clark’s health care experiences had made her realize she, too, had a passion for helping others.

Like mother, like daughter — the high school senior enrolled in Tulsa Technology Center’s medical assisting program. She joined HOSA, the CareerTech student organization affiliated with health careers education. HOSA and Tulsa Tech helped Clark

  • Develop the ability to prioritize and become organized.
  • Pass the board exams for medical assisting and phlebotomy.
  • Learn leadership skills and the value of teamwork.
  • Improve her communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Develop a strong work ethic and resiliency.

Clark watched her mom work hard to get ahead, advancing to vice president of a popular health insurance organization. Clark had the same strong work ethic, and in 2004, she graduated from Tulsa Tech and began working as a medical assistant. She met her future husband at an urgent care center, where he was a patient.

After Clark became pregnant with their third child, she made a career change, accepting a grant-funded teaching job at her alma mater. After that job ended, she was offered a full-time teaching job with Tulsa Tech’s high school medical assisting program, the same program she sat in as a high school senior. It was that program that helped her get a job, and it was that job that gave her the resources to continue her education.

“I would not have been able to attend college later in life if I hadn’t learned a trade,” she said. “CareerTech equipped me with the ability to work and make money to support myself and my family.”

NOW: A member of the Oklahoma State University President’s Leadership Society, working toward a degree in psychology and school counseling and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Clark said she’s never leaving CareerTech.

“Even if I became a doctor,” she said, “my clinic would be staffed with Tulsa Tech students.”

“There is so much opportunity in CareerTech, and I am a product of it.”

Kaydee Clark, CareerTech instructor and OSU college student

Metro Tech announces new human cadaver lab

New human cadaver lab at Metro Tech offers training to first responders

A new human cadaver program at Metro Tech will offer training to first responders. Officials announced that Metro Tech is the first Oklahoma technology center to house a human cadaver lab program. On Mar. 31, over 40 first responders from Oklahoma’s Emergency Medical Services, Lawton Fire Department, Metro Tech health students and Great Plains Technology Center paramedic students practiced lifesaving skills on two human cadavers at the Springlake Campus located at 1900 Springlake Drive in Oklahoma City.

Metro Tech partnered with the University of Oklahoma’s College of Medicine and their Willed Body Program to host classes using donated human bodies. Utilizing human cadavers for medical training provides students with an exceptional learning experience and improved understanding over manikins alone.

Superintendent and CEO Aaron Collins said, “21st Century skills are created when partnerships come together serving a larger purpose. This is a great example of how we are helping our students and first responders in our state get real life training.”

Bill Justice is Deputy Chief of Special Operations for EMSA. As coordinator of the cadaver-procedure lab, Mr. Justice said, “We reached out to partner with Metro Tech to host the lab. Due to COVID, other cadaver labs were unavailable and remained limited to only full-time students.” He said, “By Metro Tech hosting this program, it will allow first response agencies to train on a more regular basis and allow individuals to obtain required skill checks for multiple levels of certification.”

The critical lifesaving skills taught were basic and advanced management of airway intubation, chest decompression, intraosseous (IO) vascular access and bleeding control techniques such as tourniquets, wound packing and compression dressing application. Brad Smith, instructor and physician assistant (PA) assigned to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Special Operations said, “EMSA recruits must complete the skills portion of the training before completion of their program. So, the ability to have a human cadaver lab ready to train in makes a world of difference.”

Smith received his training from the University of Oklahoma Physician Assistant Program in 2001, followed by adult trauma and pediatric trauma at OU Medical Center and has worked in Emergency Medicine for 15 years. Smith said, “There is no substitution for cadaveric tissue in critical skills training.” 

Jason Lankford, a critical care paramedic and now an adult instructional coordinator at Metro Tech said, “There are only a few universities that have this type of cadaver procedure lab. Mr. Justice with EMS and OU has been the driving force to make this possible. He is an excellent resource and we are proud to partner with him to offer this training at Metro Tech.”

This new lab will be used to enhance Metro Tech’s full-time health programs and offer a wide variety of specific one-day workshops to first responders who are paramedics, specialized law enforcement teams such as SWAT and the military. Lankford said, “We look forward to all of the possibilities this will provide our students, first responders and medical professionals in preparation of serving our communities.”

 Metro Tech’s original goal for a human cadaver lab was to customize one training event per quarter. However, based on interest, the frequency may change to once per month. For customized training, contact Jason Lankford at 405-595-4660 or Jason.lankford@metrotech.edu.

For More Information Contact:                                       

Cathy Story                                                                       
Public Information Officer                                                 
Metro Technology Centers                                                 
405-595-4403

CareerTech Champions

Jessica Garvin – FCCLA and Red River Technology Center

Nursing home administrator gives back to her community through FCCLA

THEN: She wasn’t planning a career, she just wanted sewing skills. Jessica Garvin said she learned to sew at Marlow High School, but the family and consumer sciences education program taught her much, much more.

Garvin joined Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, the CareerTech student organization affiliated with family and consumer sciences. Participation in FCCLA’s job interview competitions helped Garvin

  • Speak more eloquently in public.
  • Gain leadership and management skills.
  • Become better organized.
  • Interview new employees in her job as chief operations officer at a nursing home.

She said she also met incredible, lifelong friends in FCCLA, including fellow officers, advisers and classmates.

FACSED was Garvin’s only CareerTech experience in high school, but years later she said she wishes she had enrolled in a technology center program while she was there.

“I realize now what types of opportunities I missed by not taking advantage of CareerTech education in school!” she said.

Garvin did take advantage of CareerTech’s offerings after high school, attending Red River Technology Center in Duncan to get her medication administration technician certification, part of her journey toward her long-term administrator’s licenses.

She doesn’t make her living sewing, but Garvin’s involvement with FCCLA continues today. She helps students prepare for competitive events, and she mentors them through high school.

“Giving back to my community has improved my quality of life by providing opportunities for me to pay it forward,” she said.

NOW: A University of Oklahoma graduate, Garvin is COO at Gregston’s Nursing and Rehab in Marlow, Oklahoma. As an employer, she said, she understands the value of a CareerTech background.

“We utilize CareerTech graduates every day,” she said. “So many of them are wonderful, hardworking professionals with a strong work ethic and a desire to improve the lives of the people they serve.”

“I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without FCCLA.”
Jessica Garvin
Nursing home COO

CareerTech students produce work-based learning videos

Eleven groups of Oklahoma CareerTech students from three technology centers recently earned money for their programs by showing the benefits of work-based learning.

The students participated in a student work-based learning video contest sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Each group produced a video sharing the benefits they have received from participating in work-based learning.

“The Fall 2020 Student Work-Based Learning Video Contest was created to encourage students to share work-based learning experiences in their own words,” said H.L. Baird, Oklahoma CareerTech work-based learning liaison. “We know how powerful work-based learning can be for providing the critical relevance that supports the academic and technical skills students learn in their CareerTech programs. And we know how powerful the voice of students are to other students.”

Each entry earned either $250 or $500 for the students’ programs. Entries for the contest came from Mid-America Technology Center, Moore Norman Technology Center and Tulsa Technology Center:

  • MATC Health Careers Explorer Program, “Experiencing Healthcare First Hand.”
  • MATC Veterinary Assistant Program, “Making Connections Working With Wildlife.”
  • MATC Veterinary Assistant Program, “Haz Tu Futuro Hoy (Make Your Future Today.”
  • MATC Health Careers Explorer Program, “A Career In Caring.”
  • MNTC Web Design Program, “MNTC Web Design.”
  • MATC Horticulture Technician Program, “Petal Pushers.”
  • MATC Veterinary Assistant Program, “For Those With A Heart – Experiencing Work-Based Learning With The Wildcare Foundation.”
  • MATC Veterinary Assistant Program, “Every Animal Large Or Small You Can Health Them All.”
  • Tulsa Tech TV Production, “TV Production With CareerTech #1.”
  • Tulsa Tech TV Production, “Working Towards Success.”
  • Tulsa Tech TV Production, “TV Production With CareerTech #2.”

The videos can be seen on Oklahoma CareerTech’s YouTube channel.

Work-based learning is an integral part of the Oklahoma CareerTech System. It is a partnership between education and business to create a skilled workforce for both now and the future, Baird said.

“Connecting with professionals in a student’s chosen career field brings a wealth of insight and knowledge students can learn from. WBL allows businesses to be proactive in developing the workforce they need to be successful. Both students and businesses have the opportunity to learn about each other through WBL experiences,” he said.

To learn more about work-based learning, visit the CareerTech website or contact Baird at 405-743-6812 or h.l.baird@careertech.ok.gov.

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.

Oklahoma Masons donate $200,000 in scholarships for CareerTech, OU nurse refresher course

Nurses who want to return to work through Oklahoma’s nurse refresher course can now get assistance, thanks to a donation from the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma.

The foundation has donated $200,000, which translates into 100 scholarships of $2,000 each — the cost of the revised nurse refresher program. Applications for the scholarships will open Feb. 10.

“We thought it was a great opportunity to do something we all desperately need,” said John Logan, MCFO executive director. “We thought it sounded like a wonderful program.”

“We are very thankful and grateful for the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma’s donation,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director. “The $200,000 donation will make a great difference in the lives of nurses wanting to return to work and in the lives of the patients they will be caring for.”

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. Ten Oklahoma CareerTech technology centers offer the course for nurses who do not have an active license but want to return to practice.

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. The revisions have lowered the number of hours required for students who achieve baseline competency. The fees have also been lowered, from $2,599 to $2,000.

“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,” said Lara Morris, Oklahoma CareerTech health careers education state program manager.

Logan said he read about the effort to get more nurses back into the field in the Oklahoma CareerTech Director’s Memo, a newsletter that goes out once a week. He was afraid, however, that even the reduced cost might prevent some nurses from taking the course and returning to work.

He took the issue to the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, the charitable arm of the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, and the foundation decided to make the donation. Part of the appeal was that the technology centers participating in the program are spread out across Oklahoma.

“We’ve got lodges from the Panhandle to Broken Bow. Members like to know that when we’re giving charitable assistance to organizations in the state that we’re not leaving out their areas of the state,” Logan explained. “We try really hard to look for opportunities to do things that benefit communities all over the state.”

Technology centers offering the course are Autry Tech, Canadian Valley Tech, Green Country Tech, Kiamichi Tech, Meridian Tech, Metro Tech, Moore Norman Tech, Pontotoc Tech, Southern Tech and Tulsa Tech. Scholarship applications will be taken at the participating technology centers beginning Feb. 10.

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.

February is Career and Technical Education Appreciation Month

During a year of pandemic changes, the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education kept its focus on helping Oklahomans succeed while adding new programs in response to new needs.

The Oklahoma CareerTech System is celebrating CareerTech Education Month in February. Gov. Kevin Stitt recently issued a proclamation declaring this month as Career and Technical Education Appreciation Month in Oklahoma.

“Oklahoma CareerTech continues to deliver high quality education despite the pandemic. We remain laser-focused on the multiple career paths for students and meeting the workforce needs of businesses and industries in the state,” said ODCTE State Director Marcie Mack. “The work of Oklahoma CareerTech across the state provides meaningful results for Oklahoma’s economy.”

Oklahoma CareerTech expanded its programs in response to the pandemic as it continued its focus on filling skills gaps for both employees and employers in the state.

ODCTE worked with partners to launch several new educational initiatives in 2020, including a new energy career cluster to promote the benefits of pursuing careers in energy; online meat processing courses to fill a workforce shortage in the meat processing industry; and a mobile meat processing laboratory.

ODCTE worked with the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing to revamp a nurse refresher course to get nurses back in the field faster. In addition, technology center nursing students across the state assisted with COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics.

The CareerTech Testing Center worked with the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association to offer certification exams for veterinary assistants and with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to use the Oklahoma Peace Officer Screening and Selection Exam developed by CTTC for OHP Academy applicants.

Oklahoma CareerTech also launched VirtualJobShadow.com to introduce more state students — more than 16,000 in 20 PK-12 and technology center districts — to nontraditional careers. The platform is ideal for schools and students doing virtual and distance learning because it is video-based.

When Oklahoma’s schools pivoted to distance learning in the spring of 2020, instructors in the 29 technology center districts and the 399 PK-12 school districts with CareerTech courses developed ways to help their students continue learning to finish the year. ODCTE offered additional instructional resources and guidance to tech centers and schools to help them with distance learning.

CareerTech students and teachers across the state also donated medical supplies, masks and more to help frontline pandemic workers.

Employees in CareerTech’s 13 skills centers, which operate in Oklahoma’s correctional and juvenile detention facilities, developed new processes that will better serve graduates; reduce barriers to reintegration; and improve communication, teamwork and probability of graduate success.

During a year of pivots caused by the pandemic, Oklahoma CareerTech was able to stay true to its mission of preparing Oklahomans to succeed in the workplace, in education and in life and expand its offerings to meet new needs in new ways.

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 by the Numbers in Fiscal Year 2020

  • 399 PK-12 school districts with 1,399 teachers and 132,532 enrollments
  • 29 technology center districts with 58 campuses, 1,306 teachers and 310,285 enrollments
  • 37 percent of sixth through 12th grade and almost half of ninth through 12th grade students enrolled in CareerTech courses: agricultural education; business and information technology education; family and consumer sciences education; health careers education; marketing education; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and trade and industrial education.
  • More than 86,000 students in co-curricular CareerTech student organizations: FFA; Family, Careers and Community Leaders of America; SkillsUSA; Technology Student Association; Business Professionals of America; HOSA; and DECA
  • 18,685 industry-endorsed certificates earned
  • 13 skills centers with 35 teachers and 1,541 enrollments
  • 32 adult basic education providers at 111 sites serving 10,768 students
  • 297 students earning high school diplomas in dropout recovery program
  • 7,295 industries served by business and industry training
  • 1,767 new jobs with training from ODCTE Business and Industry Services Division
  • $390 million secured by state companies in government contracts with help from Oklahoma Procurement Technical Assistance Center

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

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