By Don Threm
Rapid growth in the nation’s elderly population is creating a serious need for additional healthcare workers, and Arkansas State University Mid-South is addressing that need with expanded programs and facilities. “Well-qualified healthcare workers at all levels are in high demand across the country and especially in the Arkansas Delta,” says Dr. Cliff Jones, ASU Mid-South Senior Vice Chancellor for Learning and Instruction. “We are proud to continue to help meet the needs of the community and our region.” ASU Mid-South’s Allied Health program, which includes training in respiratory care, medical assisting, emergency medical technology (basic and advanced), nurse assisting, and phlebotomy, features state-of-the art instruction, equipment, and technology. Facilities include three technology-intensive classrooms, a medical assisting clinical simulation lab, and a respiratory care classroom. “We have purchased some of the finest simulation equipment available, and our students are benefiting from this,” Jones said. Advanced life-support simulation mannequins give program participants the opportunity to perform medical procedures as they would in a healthcare setting. The mannequins are responsive and communicate with the students. “The inclusion of up-to-date technology in our classrooms makes scenario-based training that much more realistic,” said Pam Capps, Lead Faculty for the Medical Assisting Program. “Our students have the opportunity to learn how to respond to patient needs after classroom exposure to realistic situations.” “By practicing and perfecting their skills at ASU Mid-South, our students will be among the better qualified personnel available in the healthcare workforce today.” While doctors remain in great demand, highly-trained professionals to help them with the growing volume of patients are needed at all levels of care. “Because of cost factors, many healthcare facilities are adjusting their staffing patterns to decrease labor costs,” Jones said. “Where patient care demands and regulations allow, facilities will substitute qualified assistants and technicians for other more highly-paid professionals.” “We have everything in place to provide first-class allied health training opportunities designed to help us ensure a well-qualified workforce for our state, region and nation. It’s an exciting time to be involved in the Allied Health Sciences at Arkansas State University Mid-South.” Registration for the spring 2016 semester will be held on Monday, Jan. 11, 10 a.m.-noon and 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Center on the South Campus. First-time students must take an assessment/placement exam (which measures reading, writing, and math skills) before enrolling in classes. COMPASS testing is available on ASU Mid-South’s South Campus, and the fee is $10 (payable at the cashier’s window in the Donald W. Reynolds Center). Exam dates and times include Jan. 5-7 at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. each day. For additional testing information, please call (870) 733-6728. Please note that the college is closed Dec. 19-Jan. 3 for the holidays. For more information about a career in rapidly-evolving, professionally-rewarding healthcare fields, please call (870) 733-6728, email firstname.lastname@example.org, access the college’s website at http://www.asumidsouth.edu, or visit the campus at 2000 West Broadway, West Memphis.