Technical Colleges provide training to fill hospital jobs - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Technical Colleges provide training to fill hospital jobs

June 15, 2006

Albany -- Governor Sonny Perdue has told Georgia Technical Colleges that training students for health technology jobs is a primary initiative. Albany Tech is partnering with Phoebe Putney Hospital and other Southwest Georgia medical professionals to start six new training courses, preparing students for high demand jobs in the health field.

The Central Sterilization Processing department keeps Phoebe Putney Hospital operating. The Manager of Phoebe's Sterilization Department, Jean Williams said "there is nothing that goes on in this hospital that we don't touch."

Everything that is reusable in the hospital, has to be disinfected, cleaned, and sterilized before it can come in contact with anyone. There should be 30 employees in this department, making sure infection and disease does not spread, but right now they are two short because they can't find people with the training needed.

So Phoebe worked with Albany Tech to start a one quarter certificate training program in hospital sterilization. Jean Williams said "It will help us get better qualified personnel, and hopefully it will us retain high level, dedicated persons."

The first class was taught at Albany Tech in the spring quarter, and seven people graduated, giving Phoebe and other health providers some of the experience they need. Williams said "Our training process usually lasts from four months up to six months. But the continuous training goes on to about 18. But with the introduction of the class being taught at the technical school, this should shorten that process."

 Albany Tech says the health field is hungry for people with the right training.  Vice President of Instruction Joe Dan Banker said " all of the programs that they have in a hospital they could use more people."

All health care providers are looking for persons trained in caring for the elderly, and next month Albany Tech starts a five quarter diploma course in Gerontology. Banker said "Gerontology is the next thing that the community has come to us in general asking. So we have that program starting up."

Next Albany Tech will start programs in medical imaging, lab support tech, and a bridge program to help LPN become Registered Nurses, because the medical field is crying for trained employees. Banker said "As the need in the community grows, we have got to fit that need."

 Albany Tech says they should have its medical imaging training courses by next year.

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