In the Nurse Aide lab at Worth County High School, Dual Enrollment student Ny’Keycia Hamilton practices checking a patient’s blood pressure, just one of many skills she has learned while taking part in the Nurse Aid program. Though only a junior in a high school, she is days away from completing Southern Regional Technical College’s (SRTC) Nurse Aide program.
At seventeen years old, Ny'keycia has already set her sights on a career in medicine. SRTC’s Dual Enrollment Nurse Aide program was a chance to jump-start her career. While enrolled in Nurse Aide courses, she took advantage of the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the competencies she will use throughout her medical career. The Nurse Aide Technical Certificate of Credit prepares students with classroom training and laboratory practice as well as the clinical experiences necessary to care for patients in various settings, including general medical and surgical hospitals, nursing care facilities, community care facilities for the elderly, and home health care services.
Over the summer of 2020, Ny’Keycia also completed the College’s Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) program as a Dual Enrollment student. The EMR course prepares students to provide initial stabilizing care to the sick or injured prior to the arrival of Emergency Medical Services Professionals (EMS), and to assist EMS personnel in transporting patients for definitive care at an appropriate hospital or facility.
“Ny'Keycia was in the EMR program last year when COVID-19 hit the world with a vengeance,” said SRTC Nurse Aide and EMR instructor Angela Walker “As many instructors and students soon found out, teaching and learning during a Pandemic is no small feat! Despite a pandemic and an opportunity to opt out of the course without penalty, Ny'Keycia showed perseverance in completing the EMR course. Without hesitation, she signed all necessary paperwork/waivers, obtained her lab schedule, and gathered all necessary supplies in order to come to the Tifton SRTC Campus to complete the skills check offs for the EMR Course.”
During her upcoming senior year, Ny'keycia will continue to take advantage of the Dual Enrollment program by taking college-level academic courses that can transfer to any college or university in Georgia. After high school, Ny'keycia plans to attend Valdosta State University, with a goal of eventually becoming a Nurse Midwife.
“Ny'Keycia has what it takes to be successful in life: A worthwhile, achievable goal,” said Walker. “She uses action rather than words for her plan of success by demonstrating hard work, preparation and practice, good work and study habits, and above all, perseverance! She is always prepared for class, completes tasks and assignments in a timely manner and takes the initiative to help her peers when needed.”
Across the hall in the Welding Lab at Worth County High, three more Dual Enrollment students are preparing to graduate high school with several Technical Certificates of Credit (TCC) and nearly all of the classes they need to complete SRTC’s Welding and Joining Technology diploma. Jabez Harris, Lane Paramore, and Tyree Rayner have each completed over a dozen courses while taking part in the Dual Enrollment program.
SRTC’s Welding and Joining Technology diploma is designed to prepare students for careers in the welding industry. Program learning opportunities develop academic, technical, professional knowledge and skills required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. The program emphasizes welding theory and practical application necessary for successful employment.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the Welding program as well. Instructor Cory Miller said that despite the hurdles of distance education, his students persevered. “For a while, everything was done remotely. We as instructors were trying to find a way to teach a trade online and the students had to adapt and learn in non-traditional ways. I am proud to say that these guys set an example and kept learning despite the challenges that Covid presented.”
All three of the seniors plan to complete their studies at SRTC in the fall in order to earn their diplomas, and they all intend to pursue careers in Welding. Tyree Rayner said that Cory Miller, his instructor, helped him to find a rewarding career path. “I fell in love with Welding in the 9th grade. We had an excellent teacher who pushed us hard to get going and keep going. Now, I am confident that I can make a career out of it.” He recommends that other high school students take a welding class to see if they like it. “I made a great choice, and I encourage others to try it, too. It’s a great program.”
“It is rare that a teacher gets to keep students four years consecutively,” said Miller. “It has been a joy to watch these three grow from young 9th graders into the men that they have become. They have helped to set a standard at Worth County High School and Southern Regional Technical College for others to follow. I am excited to watch them walk across the stage as High School graduates and then one semester later, to watch them walk as college grads.”
For more information about Dual Enrollment at SRTC, visit online: https://southernregional.edu/dual-enrollment. Summer semester begins May 13. Enroll today!