The School of Health Science at Milford High School will see a new pathway offered with the 2022-23 school year. The district has announced that they have added a Patient Care Assistance Program, a two-year plan of study that will be offered in partnership with Delaware Technical and Community College.
“By the time students finish with this program, they will have certification to work directly in the field of healthcare,” Dr. Bridget Amory, Director of Student Learning, said. “We’re very excited about that and we’re excited for the 16 students who are moving forward with this opportunity.”
The School of Health currently offers allied health, public and community health, as well as sports and health majors at Milford High School. All of these programs offer students the opportunity to earn college credit while they are still in high school. Under the allied health program, students can gain the skills to become respiratory therapists, dental hygienists, nursing assistants, radiologists, nurses and more. The sports and health program prepares students for careers as an athletic trainer, athletic director, physical therapist, sports marketer, sports psychologist or fitness marketing specialist. The public and community health program focuses on subjects such as poverty, discrimination and inadequate access to resources in the area of public health, preparing students to develop solutions to those social issues.
“The patient care assistant program prepares high school students for one of the fastest growing professions in the health care industry today, while preparing them for post-secondary options following graduation,” a flyer included in the Milford School District board packet explained. “Patient Care Technicians support nurses, doctors and other medical staff in caring for patients. Many are employed in a wide range of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, assisted living communities and more. PCTs can earn from $17 to $20 per hour.”
There is currently a significant shortage of PCTs in the United States with hospitals, long-term care facilities and other organizations struggling to hire and retain healthcare workers. One cause for the shortage in Delaware may be that healthcare education programs do not have the capacity to keep up with the number of healthcare workers leaving the industry. The addition of the PCT course at Milford High School is aimed to reduce the gap between education and the need for healthcare providers.
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