Tongue-tying Health Care Careers Have High Growth Potential

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Mott Community College (MCC) has a reputation for graduating highly qualified professionals from its Registered Nursing, Nurse Aide, Respiratory Therapy, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs.

Less well-known are the specialized occupational health care programs the College offers that come with some hard-to-pronounce names such as Phlebotomy, Radiologic Technology, Histologic Technician, Health Unit Coordinator-Ward Clerk and Paramedic.

These health care fields may be less well-known, but they are all high growth career fields according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They also require special individuals to fill vacancies. “Some of these career fields require clinical experience to complete the degree and some are jobs behind the scenes that have little interaction with other people” explained Patricia Ward, Allied Health Program Coordinator at MCC.

Phlebotomists (fleh-bah-toe-mists) draw blood for tests, transfusions, research, or blood donations and provide assistance when patients have adverse reactions after their blood is drawn. The field of Phlebotomy is predicted to grow 27 percent (an increase of 27,100 jobs) by 2022, which is considered much faster than the average for all careers according to the BLS. The Phlebotomy program at MCC is a 15-week alternative training course. After completion, students are qualified to work in hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, blood donor centers and doctors’ offices, and after one year of work experience students are eligible to take the National Phlebotomy Certification Exam (NPCE).  The median pay for Phlebotomists is calculated at $29,730 per year by the BLS.

Radiologic (radio-lah-jik) Technologists perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients in hospitals and other health care facilities. The Radiologic Technology Program at MCC is a cooperative effort between the College and Hurley Medical Center’s School of Radiologic Technology. Students complete 32 credits at MCC prior to applying to the Hurley program, where they complete an additional 32 credits of core courses specific to the radiologic occupational specialty to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree.  The field of Radiologic and MRI Technologists is predicted to grow 21 percent (an increase of 48,600 jobs) by 2022, which is another medical career field that is considered to be growing faster than the average for all careers according to the BLS.

Histologic (hiss-toe-lah-jik) Technicians work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and diagnostic laboratories collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. In the Histologic Technician program at MCC, students earn 47 credits and then enroll in a seven-month clinical experience at Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, Mich., that fulfills an additional 15 academic credit hours to complete an Associate in Applied Science degree. Students who complete the clinical part of the program will be prepared for the professional registry examination for histology technicians through the American Society for Clinical Pathologists (ASCP).  Careers for Histologic Technologists are predicted to grow 22 percent (an increase of 70,600 jobs) by 2022, which is considered much faster than the average for all careers according to the BLS.

One of the easier health care careers to pronounce is Health Unit Coordinator-Ward Clerk. These professionals work at nursing stations in hospitals and extended-care facilities under the direction of the nursing staff. Their duties are primarily clerical, and involve accurate transcription of physicians’ orders, monitor and interpret live patient data, medical transcription and identify problems. The MCC Health Unit Coordinator program is a 15-week alternative training program that includes both theory and clinical training. Students can be ready for employment within a few months. The pay scale for the field is between $19,000 and $38,000 per year according to Payscale.com.

The field of Paramedics is not a little-known career, but it is not widely known that Paramedic training counts as college credit at Mott College. The MCC program requires graduation from a paramedic training course approved by the Department of Consumer and Industry Services, which in Genesee County are offered by both Genesys Regional Medical Center and McLaren Regional Medical Center. Upon successful completion, students can transfer as graduates from either hospital program and receive 25 credits toward an Associate in Applied Science degree. According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for Paramedics is $35,110 and the predicted job growth is around 1.4 percent.

For all health Care careers, the minimum requirements include a clean background check, vaccinations, booster shots, and tuberculosis test and a good bedside manner – and the ability to stomach the sight of blood.

Graduate Profile: Bettye Morris

Behind the Scenes Medical Career is Perfect Fit for MCC Alumna

Bettye Morris

Bettye Morris

Like many students entering community college, Histologist Bettye Morris was unsure of what career she wanted to pursue more than 27 years ago.  “I just knew I wanted to work in the medical field and in a hospital setting, but not directly with patients. When I learned about the Histologic Technician program it sounded like a good fit,” she said.

“I really like the work. It’s never boring and you never know what you’re going to see. It could be a tumor so big it has to be brought down in a huge bucket or a biopsy so tiny you can barely see it under the microscope,” said Morris.

Histologists receive tissue specimens from within the hospital from surgery and also from outside clinics and doctors’ offices. They prepare and process the tissue specimens for review by the pathologists who diagnose diseases.  Morris said she and four other technicians process up to 100 or more specimens a day.

Morris said she thrived at MCC because of the small class size, and the personal attention she received from instructors at MCC helped her adapt to college. “I absolutely loved my Anatomy and Physiology instructors. They were so enthusiastic about the subject.” She found their enthusiasm contagious.

An important part of the professional preparation for all students in the Histologic Technician program is a clinical experience.  “The internship prepared me for the work, because I was actually doing the work during my internship that I would be doing on the job. Mott gave me a good foundation to be successful,” she said.

Morris has enjoyed 27 years of success as a Histologic Technician at Hurley Medical Center in Flint.

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