BHC expands health care training in Kewanee area

Betsey Morthland (far right), dean of health sciences at Black Hawk College, instructs a student how to draw blood on a fake arm. Drawing blood is one of the medical procedures that will be taught in the new Medical Assisting Certificate Program starting in August at the Community Education Center in Kewanee.

June 2013

KEWANEE, Ill. — As the need for more health care professionals increases, Black Hawk College is responding by expanding health care training in the Kewanee area.

Last summer, the college conducted a needs assessment in the Kewanee area.

“We determined that the community was lacking sufficient health care training programs to fulfill employer demand,” said Betsey Morthland, dean of health sciences. “We respond to the needs of our community.”

This fall, two new programs – Medical Assisting and Pharmacy Technician – will be offered. With those additions, potential students can choose between three college-credit health care programs and two short-term health care certificate training programs.

All of the programs provide students with hands-on training and credentials from an accredited institution.

Medical assisting is one of the top 10 career growth areas. This fall Black Hawk College is bringing its Medical Assisting Certificate Program to the Community Education Center (CEC) in downtown Kewanee. The three-semester program will provide students with the theoretical and practical knowledge to work in the front office and to perform clinical skills such as vital signs, injections and blood draws.

The program was developed in partnership with local health care providers and other resources in the community to help meet the area’s unique and ever-changing needs.

In Spring 2013, the college launched a new Phlebotomy Technician Training program. Phlebotomists are in demand for positions in laboratories, hospitals, clinics and physician offices. One of the program graduates had a job before completing the training.

In September, Phlebotomy Technician Training will return along with a new certificate program, Pharmacy Technician. This program prepares students for entry-level positions in hospital, retail, home infusion and mail-order pharmacies.

The two programs will be available in the evening – Pharmacy Technician on Tuesday nights for 15 weeks and Phlebotomy Technician on Thursday nights for 10 weeks.

Students interested in becoming an LPN (licensed practical nurse) can begin their training at the CEC by taking PN 110 – Basic Anatomy and Physiology. This three-credit-hour course meets Monday evenings and also can be taken by students in the new Medical Assisting Certificate Program.

Certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, assist nurses in direct patient care. Black Hawk College is offering two sessions of the eight-week program this fall – Sept. 29 to Oct. 11 and Oct. 14 to Dec. 6. Both sessions will meet Monday-Friday at the CEC in downtown Kewanee, but the schedule may vary when clinical hours are arranged.

After completing the college’s Basic Nurse Assistant Training Program, students are eligible to take the Nurse Aide Training Competency Evaluation Program written and performance test (Nurse Assistant Certification Test).

For more information about any of the health care programs at Black Hawk College, contact Wendy Smith at 309-854-1713 or the Community Education Center at 309-854-1875.