Heather Wylie wanted a new career, but she wasn’t sure which direction to take. The Alvin mother had looked at different options but had not been able to make a decision.
Then her 8-year-old daughter came down with pneumonia. Watching the respiratory care therapists work with her as she recovered inspired Wylie.
“It made me interested in respiratory care,” she said.
Wylie then enrolled in the ACC two-year Respiratory Care Associate Degree program and graduated in 2014. She is now working at Memorial Hermann Hospital Southeast.
“It is very interesting work,” she said. “It’s hard work but it is so rewarding.”
Respiratory therapists work with patients of all ages, from premature babies with underdeveloped lungs to elderly individuals who may have been affected by disease, get the oxygen they desperately need to live. Therapists also provide patients the treatments and other resources to improve their quality of life.
Their role in the medical field is vital, said Marby McKinney, director of clinical education in the ACC Respiratory Care program.
“Respiratory therapists are key members of the healthcare team,” she said. “If you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”
Wylie is a fine example of a student who took to the program and excelled, McKinney said.
“Heather was a great clinical student,” she said. “She was the recipient of our Clinical Excellence Award.”
ACC does a tremendous job making sure that instruction and materials are relevant in today’s workplace.
The knowledge and training Wylie received in her courses and in her clinical education has served her well on the job, she said.
“Everything I learned in class I use at work,” she said.
Respiratory care positions are in high demand according to the U.S. Labor Department. The agency projects that respiratory therapists will see an increase of 19 percent over the next 10 years.
The average pay for a respiratory therapist is approximately $55,000/year.
ACC offers a two-year Associate Degree in Neurodiagnostic Technology (NDT). Those with a degree are trained to monitor electrical activity arising from the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, somatosensory or motor nerve systems using a variety of techniques and instruments. The most common neurodiagnostic procedures include: Electroencephalogram (EEG), Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM), Long-Term Monitoring (LTM), Evoked Potential (EP) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS).
Recording electrical patterns throughout these systems, ND technologists provide valuable data physicians use to diagnose and treat conditions such as neuromuscular disorders, brain tumors, seizure disorders, strokes and degenerative brain disease.
The ND technologist works with patients of all ages in various settings including: hospitals, out-patient clinics, physician offices, epilepsy monitoring units, operating rooms, and research facilities.
The demand for ND technologists is increasing. The U.S. Labor Department projects jobs to grow by 22 percent by 2022. According to the American Society of Neurodiagnostic Technologists salary report, average salary for ND technologists working full-time is $48,173/year.
Paramedics are often the first medical professionals to deal with patients in an emergency situation. ACC offers a two-year Associate Degree in Emergency Medical Technology (EMT) for those who want to work in a fast-paced healthcare field.
The skills taught in the program are designed to successfully manage the trauma patient as well the stable medical patient. Employees working in 911-services and for non-emergency transport providers, as well as advanced first responders in the fire department, law enforcement officers and industrial rescue squad personnel will benefit from the program.
Students with an EMT degree can serve as ambulance personnel, safety engineers, industrial nurses, rescue squad workers, child care, personnel, policemen and firemen. The EMT program is designed for anyone who supervises or is responsible for the safety and well-being of a number of people.
Those enrolled in the program will learn current treatment methods such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Basic Trauma Life Support, and advanced pediatric medical and trauma management.
Paramedics are in demand throughout the country. The Department of Labor projects that paramedic positions will grow by 23 percent by 2022. The median pay for a paramedic is approximately $15 an hour or $31,000/year.
Start a Career in Health Care
At Alvin Community College, health care training programs help you quickly gain the skills you need to start a new career.
Health care programs with less than 14 weeks in training include:
- Aesthetic Laser Tech
- Activity Director
- Certified Nursing Assistant
- Home Healthcare Aide
- Medical Office Professional
- Medication Aide for Nurse Aide
- Professional Medical Coding
- Non-Certified Radiological Technician
Additional health care programs with 1 year in training include:
- Clinical Medical Assistant
- Dental Assistant
- Massage Therapy
For more information, call 281-756-3787 or e-mail healthcare@AlvinCollege.edu