Gerontology program kicks off - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gerontology program kicks off

August 11, 2005

Thomasville-- Southwest Georgia Technical College is launching a new gerontology program tailored to elder care.

Certified Nursing Assistant, Marcia Haskins, is embarking on a new career in the medical field. "I'm a very caring person, and I feel that's what my calling is," she says.

Haskins will be one of the first students in Southwest Georgia Technical College's new Gerontology program. "Nursing is a very tough curriculum," she says.

Program pioneers say the specialty will hone in on elder care. "What are the normal changes they go through, what do you expect from those changes, how do you deal with those changes," says Director, Tammy Bryant.

The program is in response to Governor Sonny Perdue's new health care initiatives. Being a CNA is a requirement. "We will train them if they're not. And if they are, it takes about four classes off the program for them," says Bryant.

Every piece of medical equipment at the college is functional. It's that hands-on realism that puts this program on the cutting edge, and makes it unique. "They can actually palpate the pulse sites on them, we can put them into full cardiac arrest for the students. They get the experience of dealing with a dying patient," says Bryant.

The first program of it's kind means bragging rights for the first of its 25 potential inaugural graduates. "Good feeling inside," says Haskins.

Classes start October first, and the HOPE scholarship covers them. Local nursing homes and hospitals are also offering scholarships. Those are the same places students will get their field experience.

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