Lexington County students will soon have an opportunity to begin a healthcare career coming out of high school.
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
Through a partnership with Lexington Medical Center and Midlands Technical College, Lexington County School District 1’s Lexington Technology Center will offer a medical assisting program beginning in August.
The program, which is open to rising 10th graders, is made possible by tuition lottery funding that pays for the Midlands Tech courses, Cam Crow, Lexington Medical’s vice president of physician network operations, told the Chronicle.
He called the opportunity a “great entry-level job in the healthcare workforce. For example, they may want to further their education and get a nursing degree or become a physician assistant or even go to medical school.”
The program is available to students at all five Lexington 1 high schools — Lexington High, River Bluff High, Pelion High, Gilbert High and White Knoll High — with transportation available via school buses for those who need it, Lexington Technology Center Director Bryce Myers said.
Students can take two or three classes in the fall and then again in the spring for six semesters, he explained. A prerequisite for the program is completing a first aid and CPR course.
Examples of courses included are anatomy and physiology, basic lab techniques and a variety of medical assisting classes.
The summer after high school graduation, participating students take clinical skills practice at a Lexington Medical Center physician office. Then students will need to complete and pass a certification exam, after which they are eligible to work at one of 80 physician practices across the Midlands, with the bulk of the offices being in Lexington County, Crow said.
“Our commitment to students is we will find a position [for them] in network,” he added.
Crow said Lexington Medical Center is continually growing, and the hospital network wants to invest in workforce development. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of openings, with the vice president mentioning there are currently about 40 jobs available related to medical assisting
Myers called the new initiative a “good program to build experience and make connections offering a great foundation.”
The program is a good fit for any students who want to work after high school while possibly taking classes toward furthering their healthcare career, said Dr. Erica Albritton, program director of medical assisting at Midlands Tech
“[It] could be ... the next step or a career depending on who you are,” she said, adding that she has more calls for medical assistants than there are students in the program.
One of the perks of completing the program at Lexington Technology Center is having the opportunity to leave with a certification and head straight into the workforce while still having the chance to attend college, Myers said, adding that there are a variety of entry-level certifications to get graduates in the door.
The medical assisting program joins a growing number of options at the Lexington Technology Center, which offers 32 different programs.
“You can explore potential careers for your future,” Myers said of the center. “You can figure out what you want to do or figure out your passion. That’s a win either way. Hopefully you find that out here.”
A big misconception students may have is that coming to a career center means they can’t go to college, he added.
“We want you to work, but how do you get there? There are companies out there that will pay you to come to work and pay for education later,” Myers says. “We teach students to manage your debt. You don’t want to come out of college owing money.”
No comments on this item
Please log in to comment by clicking here
Other items that may interest you