In Oakland County, nearly 100,000 workers are employed in the health care and life science industries. Employment in these industries has grown eight percent since 2009. Two of the country’s largest health systems and four of Michigan’s largest health systems are located here.
So when Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast (OSTC-SE) Dean Amy Gole was looking for a new program to implement, adding medical science curriculum as an option made a whole lot of sense.
“A main purpose at the OSTC campuses is to provide programming to students that will prepare them to possess the skills sought in the workforce,” explained Gole.
The Medical Assisting program started this past fall. Immediately, the program filled with 50 students eager to learn the particulars of the campus’s newest field of study.
Ann Jensen, the teacher hired to launch the program, said the skills students learn range from how to take vitals, to suture removal to administering an electrocardiogram (EKG). Jensen said even though certification isn’t required to get a job in the medical assisting field, the campus offers that option. Research has shown those who start their career in medical assisting often continue education in the profession, promoting future advancement.
“This program allows them to get their foot in the door,” Jensen explained.
Sparkle Childs, a senior at Hazel Park High School, is a student at OSTC-SE in the Medical Assisting program. She said she signed up for the curriculum because a couple of medical tragedies in her family piqued her interest in the subject.
“The program has really helped me get prepared for my future,” she said.
Riley Torne, a senior at Clawson High School, enrolled in the class to see if her curiosity in the field was legitimate.
“I wanted to make sure I like medical and I do,” she said.
For more information on the Medical Assisting program, visit the OSTC-SE website.
Sarah Davis is the communications specialist at Oakland Schools.