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KERN BUSINESS JOURNAL
BC students find success in allied medical careers By Amber Chiang
hink back to the last time you were ill or injured. What do you remember about the experience? Likely you remember the caring, compassionate, and capable health care providers who guided you through myriad tests, interviews and examinations to help your physician better understand your ailment. Those nurses, paramedics, radiologic technology specialists, emergency medical technicians and other health care providers were there to make sure you stayed safe, healthy, and ready for the road to recovery. Likely, those health care providers were trained right here in Bakersfield at Bakersfield College. For more than 55 years, Bakersfield College has been training, educating and preparing health care professionals to serve in the Bakersfield community. In March 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job growth in the health care sector was outpacing the growth of 2011 â€“ accounting for one of every five new jobs in 2012. The bureauâ€™s Employment Projections 2010-2020 had registered nursing atop the list of job growth through 2020, with the number of nurses to fill new jobs and replacements reaching 1.2 million by 2020. Radiologic technologists were seeing a 28 percent jump in new jobs through that same period; emergency medical technicians and paramedics a 33 percent jump; and nurse assistants a 20 percent increase. The spike in health care careers is due, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to the aging U.S. population, and the increased number of medical conditions that this population is expected to experience. From age-related health emergencies necessitating paramedic or emergency medical technician care, to broken bones and fractures caused by osteoporosis, the demand for skilled, educated health professionals will remain critical in the U.S. for another seven years.
Photo courtesy of Bakersfield College
Christina Hill is a student in Bakersfield Collegeâ€™s radiologic technology program.
Bakersfield Collegeâ€™s allied health programs are meeting that demand. Nearly all graduating students successfully complete their examinations. Last year, 21 out of 22 of Bakersfield Collegeâ€™s registered nursing graduates took and passed the Na-
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tional Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, and for the past five years, 100 percent of the graduates from the Radiologic Technology Program passed their American Registry of Radiologic Technologists licensure exams. Cindy Collier, dean of Allied Health for Bakersfield College, attributes the studentsâ€™ success to a rigorous curriculum and clinical partnerships, which prepare students to enter the health care workforce. â€œWell-trained, employable students are readied for the workforce through a curriculum based on stringent state standards,â€? Collier said. â€œBeyond that, Bakersfield College prepares students for Bakersfieldâ€™s unique community needs through our clinical programs, which place students in hospitals, clinics, and other health care arenas during their education. Our partnership with the health care community thoroughly prepares students to enter the workforce ready to build a healthier Bakersfield.â€? Essential to the education and training are clinical experiences which place students in direct contact with community members needing health care. In the clinical experiences, students work alongside professional health staff in hospitals, clinics, and other health care situations to provide patient care. Bakersfield College has established relationships with nearly all major health care facilities in the greater Bakersfield area to provide clinical experiences to students. â€œBakersfield College gives you a clinical setting that is similar to the classroom setting,â€? said radiologic technology student Shane Parsavand, who has received clinical experience at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. â€œYou actually learn hands-on how to take x-rays on patients.â€? Parsavand, like more than 150 other current Bakersfield College students, is training and learning through a combination of classroom, laboratory, and hands-on educational experiences. â€” Amber M. Chiang is Bakersfield Collegeâ€™s marketing and public relations director.
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