Nursing Assistant and Medical Terminology courses offered this summer at EAC Gila Pueblo Campus

Courtesy photo Jennifer Carlson

If you’re interested in entering the field of health care or just want to better understand things when you’re in a doctor’s office, the Gila Pueblo Campus of Eastern Arizona College is offering two summer courses for you: Nursing Assistant (NUR100) and Medical Terminology (HCE112).

NUR100 is an eight-week course that will prepare students to find work as a nursing assistant – and, said new instructor Jennifer Carlson, the demand for nursing assistants is “at an all-time high right now.”

“There are a few requirements in order to get into the Nursing Assistant class, like some English or math classes, but you can also take a placement test to get in,” she added. After finishing the class students can take the state licensing exam and, upon passing the exam, find work in the field. “There is also an option to do a Certificate of Completion if you are looking for a certificate program that’s built around the Nursing Assistant program.”

Earning the state nursing assistant license opens doors to work in health care locations like hospitals and long-term care facilities. Carlson, who taught the eight-week class this spring, said: “Before my class was over I had multiple students with job offers that were starting their pre-employment work. You can very easily take the course and begin working immediately  after. I know some of the facilities will even hire you, or allow you to start working on a temporary basis, while you’re waiting for the state licensure process.”

“We’re supplying the demand of multiple facilities that are in great need. This is not something that you will come and finish your class, and then have trouble finding a job; that is for sure.”

The Nursing Assistant course will run from May 31 through July 22; it includes a lecture component on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and clinical and lab on Thursdays or Fridays depending on clinical facilities and class size.

HCE112 is a 10-week course introducing students to medical terminology. “I think a lot of people don’t consider taking a class like that unless they want to work in health care – and you do need it for that. But how many people are caregivers for a loved one, who go to the doctor with them and have no idea what the doctor is saying? I think it would be great to see some people from the community who maybe can go and help understand what’s going on at the doctor’s office.”

Medical Terminology class will meet on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., from May 31 through August 5.

Carlson, who is new to the campus as a full-time instructor, has been a nurse since 2017. She started her career with Heritage Health Care, then moved on to Banner Desert. After tiring of the commute after 12-hour shifts, Carlson joined the staff at Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center. At CVRMC, she spent time working in the intensive care unit and the cath lab. She said that, following maternity leave, she continues to work at both CVRMC and Heritage Health Care on an as-needed basis.

“I started on campus in the fall of 2020, working in the Nursing Skills Lab,” she said. “They needed some help, and I decided to help and just fell in love with it. I started taking on more time in the lab, and then taking on more of the lecture classes as well. When this position for the full-time Allied Health associate professor opened up, I applied for it, interviewed and accepted the offer. I love what I’m doing and I look forward to growing these programs.”

Enrollment has begun for EAC Gila Pueblo Campus summer and fall classes. Summer classes begin May 31. Fall semester begins August 22. Financial aid is available for students who qualify. EAC offers students 55 and over who have lived in Arizona for over a year a tuition waiver. For more information on how to register call the EAC Gila Pueblo Campus Administration Office at (928) 425-8481.

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