Iowa Central offers health science options

Iowa Central has many Health Science program opportunities that allow students to learn in the classroom, in lab settings, and through various hands-on experiences at the college and in our area communities. The following includes information about the many opportunities within our Health Science Department.

EMT/Paramedic — Iowa Central currently offers Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) and Advanced EMT (AEMT) on an as needed basis when local services, industries, or a group of individuals requests the course. Emergency Medical Technician initial education training is offered each semester on the Fort Dodge campus. Occasionally EMT courses are offered at local EMS services or other Iowa Central campuses if there is a demand. Paramedic initial training is offered on the Fort Dodge campus with a new program starting at the beginning of the fall term each year. At the conclusion of each initial training program students that have met program requirements are eligible to take the National Registry of EMTs cognitive exam and the state of Iowa psychomotor exam which is based on NREMT standards. The Iowa Central Paramedic program is externally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Dental Hygiene — The Dental Hygiene program accepts applications for consideration to start the Dental Hygiene program each fall. The application process is based on points from grade point averages of co-requisite and pre-requisite courses, job shadowing, work experiences, essay and interviews. The program accepts 15 students each year.

The Dental Hygiene program has been extremely successful in both the students’ success in the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, a written examination and the Central Regional Dental Testing Services, clinical examination.

Iowa Central’s Dental Hygiene program is also proud of the students’ community outreach efforts and collaboration alongside oncologists, dermatologists, physicians, PA’s, nurses, dentists, and oral surgeons with the annual Iowa Central Dental Hygiene, American Cancer Society, and Unity Point Cancer Center’s Head and Neck Cancer Screenings that are performed for free in the Iowa Central Dental Hygiene Clinic in April.

The Dental Hygiene Clinic performs dental hygiene services, including but not limited to the following: dental examinations, X-rays, cleanings/non-surgical periodontal therapy, whitening trays, and athletic mouth guards, at a reduced fee. The clinic is always looking for clients as the students have patient requirements of all ages, children, adolescents, adults and older adults. Call 574-1327 to schedule an appointment for dental hygiene services.

Medical Assistant — The Medical Assistant Program at Iowa Central prepares students to work as medical assistants alongside physicians, primarily in medical offices and clinics. The program begins in the fall and concludes in the summer, so in less than one year students are able to enter the healthcare field.

Medical assistants function as members of the health care delivery team, performing both clinical and administrative duties. Clinical responsibilities may include: taking medical histories, preparing patients for examination, assisting physicians during examination, drawing blood, performing basic laboratory tests, administering medications as directed by a physician, performing ECG, removing sutures, and changing dressings. In addition, administrative responsibilities may include: updating medical records, coding, completing insurance forms, scheduling appointments, arranging for hospital admissions, billing, and bookkeeping.

With their unique versatility, medical assistants are proving to be valuable members of the healthcare team. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting continues to be projected as one of the fastest growing occupations.

Medical Laboratory Technician — The Medical Laboratory Technician program at Iowa Central is a two-year program which offers exciting and rewarding possibilities for our graduates.

Graduates of the MLT program learn how to perform complex tests which help doctors diagnose diseases such as leukemia, mono, and meningitis. They also learn how to determine what type of blood a patient has (think O negative and A positive), and every year they help organize a blood drive which boosts our regions blood supply. Our graduates easily find employment at the many hospital and clinic labs in our region and beyond, but also find employment opportunities at vet labs, ethanol plants, and other industries in our region as well.

Nursing — Iowa Central offers the Licensed Practical Nurse and Associate Degree Nursing programs at the Fort Dodge, Storm Lake and Webster City centers.

The Fort Dodge campus accepts 84 students each fall and 28 students each spring into their program. Both Storm Lake and Webster City centers accepts 28 students each fall only. The nursing program also accepts LPN students to return to the program to earn their ADN degree in one year. In addition to theory and lab classes held on the campuses, students gain experience at area facilities within 50 miles of their center as well as the William G. Smith Simulation Center at Unity Point — Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge.

Nursing students are also required to do community service. Some of the community service projects they are involved in are Warm Hearts Warm Homes, Throw a Little Love, and Share What You Wear.

The nursing program at Iowa Central is rigorous and strives to provide quality education producing competent nurses. The job outlook for graduating nurses is positive and many of our students are offered jobs during their preceptorships and clinical experiences. The nursing programs are accredited by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

Radiologic Technology — Our Radiologic Technology program students work extremely hard in both the academic and clinical setting; putting in rigorous hours of training and, challenging themselves to become some of the leading students in the field. The program offers beautiful lab facilities making the student’s transition to their clinical sites more streamlined for an increased learning experience.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the Health Science programs, please contact 574-1309. Schedule a campus visit today or visit campus virtually at www.iowacentral.edu/virtualtour. #TritonNation

John Hansen is dean, STEMM Division, at Iowa Central Communit College.