From the Florida Panhandle to Miami-Dade and across the I-4 corridor, hospitals in the Sunshine State continue to expand.
By Jeannette River-Lyles
Construction Market Data, an organization that tracks the construction industry, reports that 126 new hospital construction projects have been completed in the last five years, with many more coming through the pipeline.
These hospitals need workers, as do the many medical offices, labs and radiology facilities that cluster around them. Florida Technical College is responding to that demand with the addition of a new Associate of Science Medical Assistant Program with a Basic Machine Operator (BMO) track that will enable students to get a limited X-ray license in Florida.
“There’s never been a better time to work in the health care industry,” said Diane Jasper, academic chair of FTC’s Allied Health program. “The demand for skilled, specialized medical assistants has grown exponentially with no signs of slowing down in sight. Graduates of this program will be able to work in a hospital setting, urgent care facilities, orthopedic clinics and radiology centers, to mention a few.”
The 18-month program launched in March at the Kissimmee campus. Its graduates will be able to work directly under a physician, registered nurse, registered technologist, office manager or a radiology administrator. They will assist in a limited manner with patients who require chest, extremity and torso x-rays. Responsibilities may include positioning or maintaining X-ray equipment, adjusting controls, positioning patients on the exam table and setting up and adjusting equipment to obtain a better view of specific c bodily areas.
The program expands on FTC’s already ample offerings for medical career training, which include diploma programs for medical assistant technicians, patient care technicians and medical coding and billing specialists.
The college also offers an associate degree for medical assistants and a bachelor’s degree in allied health management.
To qualify for direct enrollment in the Associate of Science Medical Assistant Program with BMO specialization, students must have a medical assistant diploma. Interested students without this prerequisite may enroll in the diploma program and move into the BMO track once they’ve completed the basic courses.
“Our partners in the healthcare industry have expressed a need for medical assistants with a specialty in X-ray and we have stepped up to the plate,” said FTC President and CEO David Ruggieri. ‘’Our partners trust us because we foster job readiness in each and every single one of our students with externships and hands-on training to ensure a smooth transition into the job market.”
By Jose Luis Dieppa