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Growing Demand for Skilled Healthcare Workers

Posted by: JustinFreeman on Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Aligning Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs with both current and projected employment data designed to meet local workforce demands is the focus of both short-term and long-term planning for the Rogers Public Schools CTE department. The district’s partnership with both the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce and Northwest Arkansas Council, has been a valuable resource for educators through participation in sponsored events that have increased educator awareness and knowledge of employment trends within the medical and healthcare sectors. In this article, we look at the growing demand for skilled healthcare workers within the Northwest Arkansas region, and the programs that are offered within the district to help prepare students for successful careers within the medical and health science fields. Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) Rogers Public Schools has partnered with Northwest Technical Institute (NTI) to offer the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) course. The course will be offered to 11-12th grade students in Rogers Public Schools, as well as neighboring school districts. The CNA course will be taught on the Rogers High School campus, and will serve as another location of the Secondary Career Center. Medical Professions Program of Study In addition to the Certified Nursing Assistant program, the Rogers Public Schools offers the Pharmacy Technology Fundamentals course for students who are interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician, pharmacist, or related occupations within this career field. Students may also choose to take several other courses within the Medical Professions program of study, including Introductions to Medical Professions, Medical Terminology, and Medical Procedures. Industry Certifications Students also have the opportunity to obtain industry certifications related to medical and healthcare career fields. This year, students in grades 7th & 8th grade attended First Aid/CPR/ AED certification training during the Spring Break Career Camp that was held in March. K2J Connect | Connecting Educators and Local Healthcare Professionals Mike Harvey with the Northwest Arkansas Council presented at the Chamber’s K2J (Kindergarten-To-Job) Connect meeting attended by both educators and local healthcare professionals. Mr. Harvey shared an overview of both the current and future employment trends within the region, including projected increases in the number of jobs for the following: Healthcare Practitioners (+64%); Personal Care and Services (+123%); and Healthcare Support (+71%). With several new medical facilities under construction currently in Northwest Arkansas, Rogers Public Schools will continue to seek viable programs and certification training programs that will help prepare its students for successful careers within the medical and healthcare fields. Partnerships Needed The Rogers Public Schools is interested in establishing partnerships with local medical and dental facilities, including clinics, hospitals, private practices, and other healthcare organizations to offer students opportunities to expand the scope of their experiences within this career field through job shadowing, internships, work-related field trips, and mentorship projects. The district would also like to extend an invitation and opportunity for health care professionals to share information through classroom visits and presentations. Please contact Dawn Stewart, Director of Career & Technical Education, at (479) 636-3910 to learn more about exciting partnership opportunities.

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