College of Southern Maryland (CSM) students who have chosen to pursue careers in health care were celebrated Thursday, May 12, at the Health Career Readiness Recognition ceremony.
Eighty-four students who completed programs to become Certified Nursing and Geriatric Nursing Assistants, Clinical Medical Assistants, Certified Dental Assistants, Phlebotomy Technicians, Veterinary Assistants, Nutrition Coaches, Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT), and Health Information management specialists in spring 2022 were celebrated.
“We are here to celebrate all of our completers from a variety of programs,” shared CSM Executive Director of Workforce Development Kelly Winters during her welcoming remarks. “I hope you approach your career in health care with passion, empathy, and a continued love of lifelong learning.”
“You guys are definitely in the right place at the right time,” she continued, pointing out that health care is one of the largest employment sectors, with 22 million workers, and the field is expected to grow by 16 percent by 2030.
Winters also shared the symbolism of items that graduates would receive at the ceremony: Students were given pins as a sign of welcome and acceptance into their professions, and MLT students received a white lab coat to recognize their diagnostic authority and their profession’s history.
Health Care Program Manager Sarah Butler introduced students from the Certified Nursing and Geriatric Nursing Assistants, Clinical Medical Assistants, Certified Dental Assistants, Phlebotomy, and Veterinary Assistants programs.
“A career in health care requires far more than book learning and theories,” she said. “It demands communication and critical thinking skills, empathy, and emotional intelligence, being detailed oriented and adaptable—but most important, it requires having a servant’s heart. Anyone choosing a career in the health care field finds out quickly, they are entering into a very selfless profession.”
Certified Nursing and Geriatric Nursing Assistants
A student who successfully completes this workforce training certificate meets eligibility requirements to become a Certified Nursing Assistant through application to the Maryland Board of Nursing. To obtain a Geriatric Nursing Assistant Certification, students can take the NNAAP Maryland Nurse Aide Examination approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing to obtain their nursing assistant certification. Students can also take the geriatric nursing assistant competency exam.
Students who completed the Certified Nursing and Geriatric Nursing Assistants program were Amanda Martin, John Santero, Nyesha Urbano, and Johnathan Welch. A nursing assistant performs duties for patients in a health care setting, such as feeding, dressing, grooming, moving, and changing linens. This workforce training certificate consists of two classes: Nursing Assistant Fundamentals and Nursing Assistant Practice.
Clinical Medical Assistants
Certified Clinical Medical Assistants students completed the courses Introduction to Clinical Medical Assisting, Basic Procedures for Medical Assisting, and Advanced Procedures for Medical Assisting. They perform tasks including preparing patients for the doctor, obtaining vital signs, collecting specimens, performing EKGs, and assisting during exams and procedures, to name a few.
The students who received their Clinical Medical Assistant pins were Ashley Boothe, Amanda Crooks, Kayla Faxio, McKenna Gallagher, Catherine Harris, Brittnee Holtery, Angela Joyner, Katie Mabry, Zoe McGhee, Emilie Neiheisel, Lakenya Sankey, and Darian White.
Certified Dental Assistants
Students who have received their Dental Assistant certification qualify to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board Radiation Health and Safety Examination. They are prepared to assist with patient care and can become Registered Dental Hygienists with further education.
Students who completed this program were Jacquelyn Adams, Krisanda Brown, Erica Dionisio, Alyssa Forrest, Alyssa Geisweidt, and Simonte Gray.
Phlebotomy technicians draw blood from patients or donors. With further training, a technician can become a Medical Laboratory Technician or Technologist. Students who completed this program were Ashley Bowman, Donald Bush, James Carr, Keyara Foote, and Stephen Hughes.
The Veterinary Assistant program is a new course of study at CSM. Veterinary assistants assist veterinarians with animal care, including preparing areas for examination and surgery, running tests, caring for wounds, administering medication and inoculations, and advising pet owners on proper care. Students must complete a veterinary assistant preparation Course and four additional courses.
The first cohort of veterinary assistants to complete the program were Alexandra Allen, Ashley Barber, Faith Bryant, Serenity Campbell, Katherin Coronado, Jamie Cozzens, Ciara Farr, Josh Fletcher, Malinda Hammond, Lillian Holland, Emily Knight, Sean Leydon, Stephany Mateo-Hernandez, Catherine Medellin, Kaitlyn Morrison, Nicole O’Sullivan, Jacob Preston, Heather Roberts, Jennifer Rodriquez-Coronado, Candace Rowe, Peyton Townes, Jaysen Williams, and Maliea Wilson.
Petita Rentz, wellness, fitness, and sports program coordinator, introduced the students who completed the nutrition coach program. Students who studied to be Certified Nutrition Coaches have been prepared to sit for an exam to receive their certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
The students who completed this program were Marissa Amadio, Justin Aponte, Grady Armacost, Diallo Barry, Jack Carver, Alysa Gately, John Gleason, Drake Goddard, Alyssa Gray, Kerianne Hemmer, Janiah Jones, Ezekiel MacPherson, Kayla Miller, Jesus Moscat, Nick Norton, Matthew OH, Zakiya Parker-Vance, Jacob Peddicord, Liam Post, Shane Pray, Janaya Sims, Mikaila Sullivan, Zachary Wagner, Megan Welch, Elijah Wilhelm, Devon Williams, Emily Williams, and Lynn Williams.
Medical Laboratory Technology
Tiffany Gill, a medical laboratory technology program coordinator, introduced the MLT students, presented them with their pins and coats, and led them in a pledge to the profession. The MLT program is a two-year program that prepares graduates to work as diagnostic health care team members. MLTs perform routine and automated procedures under the supervision of a medical technologist or pathologist. Cameron Burgess, Kayla Carlyle, and Carly Fessel completed the program.
Health Information Management
The final group of students to receive their pins were those that completed the Health Information Management program. Professionals in this field organize, classify, and evaluate the incredible volume of medical data generated by the health care field. In addition to technical functions in information management like statistical and data analysis, students gain perspective of the broader significance of health data at all levels: personal privacy and patient rights; staff and facility planning; research; and financial implications.
Candi Hume, a health information management program coordinator, recognized Dajawn Knight, Lauren Faucette, and Skyler Barrick for completing the program.
Acting Assistant Dean of the School of Science and Health Turner Coggins provided closing remarks for the event and left students with a reminder to take care of themselves as they care for others.
“You have accomplished something pretty great, and I applaud you,” he said. “You are to be commended for selecting a path that has the potential to affect lives for the good wherever you go. As you enter into the profession of caring for others, make sure you are open and willing to receive help when you yourself are in need.”
Encompassing credit degree programs like Nursing, EMS, Medical Lab Technology, and more, and continuing education workforce training certificates in a variety of specialties like Phlebotomy, CNA/GNA, and ECG/EKG Technicians, the Health Pathway at CSM provides a broad variety of medical training for a number of different careers. Some types of nurses and therapists can expect to get started on their careers after two years or advance their education with certifications at CSM; medical assistants and phlebotomists can get certified in a matter of weeks or months. Learn more online.