INA, Ill. (Feb. 11, 2014) – The health care field is proving to be one of the most rapidly growing fields across the country, and opportunities are available for Rend Lake College students to take the first step in starting a rewarding career.
Four programs – Medical Laboratory Technology, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Surgical Technology, and Veterinary Technology – are offered at RLC through the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market (SICCM). In this format, all general education classes and some required courses are held at RLC, with the core classes of each program held at the SICCM facilities in Herrin. Applications for enrollment are due by March 1.
The Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program is a two-year Associate Degree in Applied Science. Students in this program perform routine blood and body fluid tests to be used in diagnosis and treatment of patients, and are often employed at hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices and other similar facilities.
The program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. After the program is completed, students can take a certification exam. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (US DOL), the MLT profession is expected to grow by 22 percent by 2022 with an additional 70,000 jobs in the healthcare field.
The two-year Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program prepares students to begin as entry-level clinicians, helping those who have functional loss due to physical, neurological, social, emotional, cognitive, or developmental disabilities. These students will work directly with patients to help them achieve their highest level of independent living.
The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. Successful completion of the program allows students to sit for the national certification exam. The US DOL states that the OTA field will grow by 41 percent in the next eight years.
The Surgical Technology program introduces students to the operating room, where they learn to work under medical supervision to keep equipment functioning properly and to sterilize the environment. Students will also learn basics about the human anatomy, surgical procedures and the application of tools and techniques during surgeries.
This three semester program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Committee on Education in Surgical Technology. Upon completing the program, students may take the national exam. According to information from the US DOL, a majority of graduates work in hospitals, though the field is expected to grow by 30 percent by 2022.
The Veterinary Technology program familiarizes students with administrative, clinical, and technical skills necessary to assist veterinarians with small, large, exotic, and lab animals. The program covers nutrition, veterinarian terminology, legal issues and office management, parasitology, surgical nursing, veterinary pharmacology, anesthesiology, radiology, emergency care, and clinical pathology, among other areas.
This two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Graduates qualify to sit for the national accreditation examination. The US DOL states there will be an increase of 25,000 jobs for veterinary technicians in upcoming years.
Dean of Allied Health Kim Robert said each program offers a number of unique opportunities for local students, such as being able to study and later work in their community.
“These four programs are very important in the health care industry and are great starting places for the students at Rend Lake College,” said Robert. “With each program showing such growth, students who graduate with associate degrees will have opportunities to work right here at home, and in an area that will only continue to expand. Any of these programs can lead to a rewarding career, and that’s what we want for our students.”