January 22, 2013

Individuals interested in becoming an occupational therapy assistant, surgical technician, veterinary technician, or medical lab technician have until March 1, 2013 to apply for enrollment in these programs through Southeastern Illinois College and the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market (SICCM).

According to Kelli Mahoney, career and technical education activity coordinator at Southeastern, placement of successful applicants for the 2013 fall semester is limited, and she urges anyone wanting to pursue a career in one of these four certified programs to apply by the March 1 deadline. 

The occupational therapy assistant program, or OTA, trains students to help patients regain mobility, independence, and strength lost due to disease, injury, or other disability.  Students develop entry-level skills necessary to provide services to persons of all ages who have experienced loss of function because of physical, neurological, social/emotional, cognitive, or developmental disabilities.

OTA is a two-year, associate in applied science degree program and offers career opportunities in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, sheltered workshops, schools, camps, homes, physicians’ offices, community programs, and private practices.

SICCM’s surgical technology program prepares students to be part of a surgical team comprised of physicians, nurses, and other surgical personnel.  Students acquire entry-level skills necessary to assist in operations, including preparation of patients, operating rooms for scheduled and emergency surgery, and instruments and equipment.

Duties also include operating certain surgical equipment, keeping surgical records, and assisting in post-operative procedures.

Surgical technology is a one-year certificate program that helps graduates find employment in hospitals, physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, ambulatory surgical centers, and transplant and specialist clinics.

The medical lab technology program gives students the technical skills required to perform routine procedures in hematology, serology, coagulation, clinical microbiology, clinical chemistry, blood banking, urinalysis, vein puncture, and quality control. 

Graduates of this associate in applied science degree program find jobs in hospitals, clinics, skilled care facilities, health maintenance organizations, independent medical labs, blood banks, and government agencies.

For individuals interested in a career in animal health care, SICCM’s veterinary technology program provides entry-level training in the administrative and technical aspects of medicine and surgery associated with small, large, exotic, and laboratory animals.

Students learn how to assist veterinarians in their diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions and diseases affecting animals and to perform certain medical tests, including urinalysis, blood count, and tissue samples.

Upon completion of the program, students are qualified to administer medications and vaccines, obtain and record case histories and physical exams, advise and educate animal owners in nutrition and animal health, read and fill prescriptions, assist in administration of anesthesia, perform dental prophylaxes, collect specimens, perform laboratory procedures, expose and develop radiographs, and assist in diagnostic, medical, and surgical procedures.

Veterinary technology is a two-year associate in applied science degree program. Major employers of veterinary technicians are veterinarians, animal clinics, and animal hospitals.

Amy Murphy, interim director of nursing and allied health at SIC, feels the college’s partnership with SICCM gives students from Southeastern’s district a rich variety of career choices in health care.

“The allied health programs offered by SICCM provide wonderful and numerous opportunities for employment and fulfilling careers,” said Murphy.  “The faculty and directors of the programs are dedicated to the success of their graduates.  Completion of any of these programs provides excellent employment opportunities, as well as the potential for future educational growth.”

SICCM is a consortium of the four southern-most community colleges in Illinois, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Edwardsville, and Kaskaskia College.  The alliance exists to meet a number of educational needs common to the region, particularly in the area of health care.

Application packets and additional information about the above programs are available by calling an SIC recruiter at 618-252-5400, ext. 2245 or 2325.