Patient Care Technician Program (PCT) graduating class

Patient Care Technician Program (PCT) graduating class

For the month of May, Immokalee Technical College is honoring six of its dually enrolled seniors who comprise the first Patient Care Technician Program (PCT) graduating class.  The PCT program is a two year career training specifically designed by iTECH Director Dorin Oxender for eleventh grade Immokalee High School students who plan to pursue a career in the healthcare field.

Senior Gabriel Mendoza, who plans to major in biomedical engineering to design mechanical medical equipment, said, “I used the skills I learned in this class with a family member who had to go to hospice.”

The program started last school year. The high achieving students selected for this program are enrolled in Immokalee High School and iTECH at the same time.  They attended the PCT class for one hour and forty-five minutes each school day for their junior and senior years. Lectures; simulated experiences in a lab where computerized mannequins mimic ailments, such as choking, heart attack, and stroke of actual patients; and real-world clinical experiences in a local long-term care facility prepare the students for their future in the healthcare field.  Health Science instructor Donna Tryan points out, “This very beneficial program gives the students experience in the healthcare field and helps them feel more confident.”

“The PCT program is my first step to my future career,” offers class member, Lorve Cherilus.  “I’m going to FSU to major in healthcare administration.  One day I want own my own hospital.”

The six seniors in the program who will be graduating from IHS this month will also be graduating from the iTECH Patient Care Technician Program as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), certified in first aid and CPR, and trained in phlebotomy and EKG.

Malaya Hollings, who aspires to become a pediatric doctor, commented that becoming a CNA has helped her to have a look into healthcare.  The most amazing skill Azucena Cruz said she learned was how to draw blood from the arm.  Ashley Decius said she is pursuing a career in law at FMU.  Eduardo Garcia won’t have much of a summer vacation.  He is headed to FSU after graduation to major in biological science.