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New Courses to Meet Growing Needs in Health Care

a student learning health care professions

Throughout the U.S., health care occupations are expected to have the fastest employment growth and create the most new jobs from now through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With a projected rise in the Howard County population and the increasing needs of an aging population, demand for highly trained health care professionals specializing in a variety of medical areas has never been greater. In response to these national and local trends, new noncredit health care training programs are being offered to provide students with the opportunity to gain employment upon completion.

Nationally,  employment of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists is expected to increase by 28 percent, roughly twice the rate of the overall job market. Diagnostic technologists who are interested in transitioning to MRI technology can enhance their credentials through a new certificate program. Upon completion of four theory-based courses and clinical rotations, graduates are qualified to take the national certification exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The program also provides access to modern and hands-on scanning experience through a partnership established with several institutions in the Baltimore/Washington area.

Another health care career that is positioned for an upturn, ophthalmic medical technician, is expected to boost its workforce by 24 percent. Howard Community College (HCC) is offering a new ophthalmic technician training course to help future eye care professionals learn how to conduct patient histories, assist with eye exams, and set up and clean up exam rooms. Offered partially online and in-person with a skills lab at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in Columbia, the course will require a mandatory internship after successful completion of training.

A new partnership with Heartland Dental, a leading dental support organization providing non-clinical support to dental offices nationwide, will equip aspiring dental assistants and dental hygienists enrolled in dental assisting and radiology with hands-on experience and the potential of obtaining employment.

“We are delighted to partner with a number of organizations to further extend our footprint in providing future and current health care professionals with a pathway to success,” said Minah Woo, acting associate vice president of continuing education and workforce development. “Providing students with on-the-job training that can lead to potential career opportunities is a living example of our mission.”

In addition to career preparation, the division of continuing education and workforce development has added programming to improve the quality of life of the community through a new Care Provider training course in partnership with the Howard County Office on Aging and Independence. The course will provide strategies for caring for loved ones at home with specific tips on how to prevent falls and injuries in the home, nutrition, caring for people with dementia, and more.

“HCC is a place for our community to turn to for expertise on a wide variety of topics that can benefit individuals in a multitude of ways,” Woo said. “Our continuing education division is devoted to providing Howard County residents and workforce with quality programming that fulfills recognized needs.”

For more information, visit howardcc.edu/coned.

Topics: Career Focus
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