All Smiles Dental, LLC – Externship Highlight

All Smiles Dental, LLC is a dental office located in Bridgeport, WV. West Virginia Junior College has been fortunate enough to have a contract with All Smiles Dental for the past couple of years. This contract allows our students to complete their externship at their bustling office. Students work with up-to-date equipment and newer technology to expand their knowledge as a dental assistant. All Smiles offers dental care such as general dentistry, prevention, implants, denture, crowns, and so much more. This experience gives WVJC students the chance to expand and learn about the different areas of dentistry in one office.

Students who complete their externship at All Smiles Dental gain experience in four-handed dentistry; this means that the dental assistant’s two hands are assisting the dentist’s two hands, reducing the amount of time a dental exam or procedure may take. They are able to interact with the patients, take digital x-rays and even learn how to use a Cerec machine.  A Cerec machine is a machine where you take a digital impression of a patient’s mouth and design a crown. Then, that design is sent to a machine that utilizes computer-aided design (CAD) and can create a crown in the office. This valuable knowledge is what students look forward to in their externship.

Our students at WVJC Bridgeport are very thankful that they have the opportunity to complete their externships at All Smiles Dental. Students rave about how much they love going there and their experience while in the office. All Smiles has also expressed how grateful they are to have our WVJC students. They have also graciously donated their older chairs to the Dental Assisting program, which helps our students in the classroom.

WVJC Bridgeport graduate Kristina Conaway completed her externship at All Smiles Dental and stated that she loved the office. Kristina said she learned how to assist the doctor and take impressions and x-rays on patients by herself. She loved the experience that she received from the office and hopes to work at an office like All Smiles Dental in the future.

If you’re looking for a fast-track Dental Assisting program that can provide you an externship experience like the one our students receive at All Smiles Dental, LLC, then take the first step today and request information here!

Danielle Collins – Student Highlight

Danielle Collins is a Clinical Medical Assistant student at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. Before attending WVJC, Danielle attended Fairmont State University and was majoring in the education program. The classes were far larger than what she was used to in high school, building professional relationships with her professors was hard, and it wasn’t her “cup of tea,” she stated. Looking back, Danielle realized that education was not the career she wanted to pursue, and that is why she started to explore different options. During Danielle’s search, she found WVJC and requested more information, and began the enrollment process for the Clinical Medical Assistant program.

What finalized Danielle’s decision to enroll was the relatively small classes, which made her feel more comfortable. Danielle, who is very goal-oriented, has thought about other educational opportunities in the future. This is why she thought the CMA program was the right choice for her. Danielle sees herself enrolling and attending the new Nursing program at WVJC Bridgeport and working as a registered nurse in 5 years.

When Danielle was asked what her favorite part of attending WVJC was, she replied, “My favorite part about attending WVJC is definitely the professional relationships I have formed over the months with all of my instructors. Although I do not see each of them every term, I know that they will be willing to help me at any time.” The two instructors that stand out the most to her are Ms. Holyfield and Mrs. Syrews. Danielle says, “It’s hard to pick just one, but I will never forget them. They are always willing to do whatever they can to help me succeed and are two of the best instructors I have ever had; they will always be included in some of my favorite memories at WVJC.”

After graduation, Danielle wants to work as a Certified Medical Assistant in a hospital setting to experience and see different things every day. Danielle is due to graduate in December of 2020, and from all of her experiences, she says, “I would 100% recommend WVJC to a friend. I am so glad I found this school because it has given me so many opportunities. I have had so many positive experiences with the classes and instructors that there would not be a reason for them to not want to enroll!”

To learn more about WVJC, request information here!

Registered Nursing Program – Bridgeport Campus

WVJC Bridgeport is set to complete our second six-week term of WVJC’s Nursing program! It’s been an exciting time for our campus as we’ve added an RN training program that prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses’ (NCLEX-RN)* exam to WVJC Bridgeport’s list of available course options.  WVJC Bridgeport started its first cohort of 40 nursing students on June 29th, 2020. Not only do we love to see people who are passionate about learning to care for those around them, but WVJC’s nursing program also helps fill a void in our community.

Currently, there are approximately 3 million registered nurses in the US with more than 5,000 employment vacancies. The Board of Labor and Statistics estimates more than 500,000 RNs will be needed by 2030 to cover the medical needs of the country and vacancies caused by RNs retiring. In WV alone, more than 2,000 new RNs will be needed by 2025 to meet the state’s health care needs.

WVJC Bridgeport’s Nursing program lasts 18 months, with classes starting each June. Classes are Monday through Friday with scheduling to assist students who are actively working. Those who have completed Practical Nursing programs** have the opportunity to test out of several classes and can potentially achieve their nursing degree in as little as one year.  If you have a desire to become a Registered Nurse, request information here!

*Passing the NCLEX – RN exam is required to become a Registered Nurse.
**See catalog for detailed eligibility criteria.
Credits may not be transferable. Individual results may vary. Information on this slide was current at the time of publishing.

Congrats Pam!

WVJC Bridgeport is proud to congratulate Nursing Director Pam Wilson, MSN on the completion of her Master’s Degree in Nursing Education from Western Governors University.

Pam has been employed at the Bridgeport campus since 2014 when she began teaching in the Clinical Medical Assistant Program. She then assisted in the development of the Practical Nursing Program that began in 2015. In 2017, Pam assumed the role of Medical Director and has maintained a 100% NCLEX pass rate for the Practical Nursing Program for the 2015-2019 graduating classes. Pam states that during the program she was able to learn many new teaching methodologies that she plans to implement into the Nursing and Practical Nursing Programs at WVJC Bridgeport.

Pam has a passion for teaching students the skills of nursing, but even more importantly the bedside care and compassion needed to be an amazing nurse. Pam has worked with local long term care facilities and hospitals to establish professional relationships that allow her students to experience hands-on educational rotations, so that upon graduation they are well rounded and highly sought after by local employers.

In her free time away from WVJC, Pam is a mother of 5 children and enjoys traveling to Colorado to visit her grandson, Elias. She is a proud military mom, whose son serves in the US Army with the Special Forces Unit. She loves to volunteer and help out local charities as well.

Pam is especially grateful to God, her parents, husband, kids, Jenica Greynolds, and Jenn Leer for all their support, encouragement, and guidance during this long journey!

Molly Connell – Medical Assisting
Graduate to Nursing Student

Molly Connell is a returning graduate from West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. She began her journey at WVJC in 2015 to pursue her Medical Assisting degree. At that time, Molly knew the medical field was her passion. She checked into WVJC and quickly discovered it was the place for her. Once enrolled and into the classes, she was happy to call this school her home. The small class size and the family-like atmosphere was what she was looking for. Molly said, “It was nice to be a part of a school that everyone in the building cared about your success.”

Molly is a hard-working young lady that is dedicated to many things. She is not only furthering her education for herself, but also setting an example for her two small children. Molly began working as a medical assistant at Stonewall Jackson Hospital, in Weston, shortly after graduating in November 2016.  After working as a medical assistant for some time she applied to a phlebotomy position at United Hospital Center, where she is currently still employed.

As much as she loves her journey and passion for the medical field, Molly knew she had the dedication to go even further. Once WVJC Bridgeport started their Nursing program, she knew that was the path for her. She quickly got in contact with the admissions advisor and began the enrollment process. Molly was accepted into the program. It was easy for the nursing staff to see her dedication and drive. She began classes in June 2020 and has enjoyed the process so far.

When talking to Molly about her day to day responsibilities, it became clear that she is a very organized and goal-driven young lady. Molly is a wife, mother of two children, a phlebotomist at UHC, and a WVJC nursing student. Many people would agree that is a lot. However, she is determined and continues to see the reward and the light at the end of the tunnel.

Molly looks forward to seeing how proud her family is of her when she finishes the Nursing program. In her spare time, she loves playing outside with her kids. She also looks forward to obtaining employment in the ER at UHC once she graduates. She said there are times she gets overwhelmed, but continues to stay focused and refer back to her favorite quote, “Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.”

To learn more about WVJC’s nursing program, request information here!

Practical Nursing Graduation – 2019

Graduation, the day we long for from the day we begin any educational journey. It is a time to celebrate; celebrate your accomplishments not only for yourself,  but with friends and family. The day where reality sets in and you start into another part of your life journey.

The dictionary defines graduation as “the receiving or conferring of an academic degree or diploma.”  Many of us look at graduation as a day of accomplishment and success, which you should.  Some question, “Am I told old to walk at graduation?” The answer is no.  Accomplishments should be celebrated at all ages and at all times in our lives.

In December 2019, West Virginia Junior College celebrated the success of eleven practical nurses as they walked across the stage at Via Veneto’s in Bridgeport. On this special day, we celebrated not only their accomplishments but also looked back upon the journey to get them where they are today. The laughter, hard work, dedication, many sleepless nights, and countless study sessions finally became a reality, that they were overwhelmingly proud of.  Family, friends, and instructors glowed in happiness in the success of not only the completion,  but also the level of professionalism from this group of ladies.

After graduation, they continued to accomplish many more achievements. Every December 2019 practical nursing graduate passed their NCLEX exam, which officially gave them the title of “Licensed Practical Nurse.”  Not only were they proud of themselves but also of each other. Together as a team, they continue to grow and prosper.  Each graduate also quickly obtained employment after graduation and are happy to be in the healthcare field, a dream they all had since they were little. “Every nurse is drawn to nursing because of a desire to care, to serve, or to help.”  – Christina Feist-Heilmeier, RN.

At WVJC Bridgeport, you become a part of a small family. The small classes and the one on one attention you receive, are like no other.  We offer many different programs within our WVJC family and we always celebrate everyone’s accomplishments during graduation.

To learn more about WVJC’s Practical Nursing program, request information here!

Frank Wiechers – Faculty Highlight

One of the new additions to the WVJC Bridgeport’s nursing faculty is Frank Wiechers.

Frank has worked in a number of different positions in the medical field. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, he is now a part-time instructor for West Virginia Junior College. He initially became a certified wholesaler in Germany in 1997. He then started his medical career “last century” as an EMT in the USA, working in EMS. He received a bachelor’s in marketing and in management, cum laude, in 2002. He received his associate in nursing in 2007, and his bachelor’s in nursing, cum laude, in 2009. He started working as a nurse at a local hospital’s emergency department, where he became a clinical supervisor, and worked in a supervisory position until 2018. He furthered his education, and graduated with honors with his master’s in nursing, nurse practitioner tract, in 2017. Since 2018, he has worked as a family nurse practitioner at a local office, specializing in primary care, but currently, is reassigned to the emergency department due to the pandemic.

Frank became a US citizen in 2016, and speaks German and English. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two labrador retrievers, Maja and Sky. Frank is mostly tolerated by the feline inhabitant and ruler of their house, Smokey.

Throughout the years, Frank has taught students and new graduates in the emergency department, as well as his current position. He is looking forward to teaching the upcoming generation of nurses!

To learn more about WVJC’s Nursing Program and instructors, request information here!

Lyrik Hilliard – Student Highlight

Lyrik Hilliard is a medical assisting student at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport. She began her college career at Fairmont State and was there until May of 2019. When she decided to take that summer off, she explored other colleges. Lyrik came across WVJC and decided to take the next step and enroll.

Some of the things that supported her decision to enroll at WVJC were the small classes, hands-on learning, and the fast-paced learning environment! She chose the Clinical Medical Assistant program because of the many career options.

Lyrik says that Mr. Cutright is one of her favorite instructors. “He is so interactive with the class. I am always very alert when it comes to that class. I’ve never dreaded attending his class. I like the fact that he writes everything on the board. I feel I learn better that way. I like the activities he plans for class and the way he really gets the class thinking.”

In 5 years, Lyrik sees herself married with children with a career in pediatrics, and possibly working on her bachelor’s degree. While she is thinking of her future, and taking courses at WVJC, she also currently holds a position on campus as a work-study for the staff and faculty. This opportunity has given her firsthand experience working with professionals and understanding the concepts of teamwork in the workplace.

When asked if she would refer a friend to WVJC, Lyrik said, “I would refer a friend to WVJC if they are wanting to be in a small school and learn. If they are eager to learn, then they should attend WVJC because you are constantly learning something new.”

To learn more about WVJC’s medical assisting classes, request information here!

Kim Morrison – Graduate Highlight

Kim Morrison was born and raised in a little town in Texas. She came to West Virginia in 1993 to go to school but life had a different plan. She has been married for 17 years to her one and only love, David. Kim is also a loving and wonderful mother to her two children, Zoe and Elijah.  Life has taught her many things, but her family holds the key to her success.

Kim had plans to go to school but chose to stay home to care for her children instead. Once Kim’s children reached an age of independence, she began to wonder what to do with herself. After some thought, Kim took advantage of a free class to earn her certification as a CNA, which led her to begin working at United Hospital Center, in Bridgeport as a Patient Care Assistant. “I fell in love with the work. I feel like working in the medical field was what I was born to do.”

As Kim worked and continued to love the medical field, another worker told her about West Virginia Junior College. At that moment she knew she wanted to learn more. “I needed to learn more about the school and the hands-on 18-month program they had to offer.” Kim quickly made the choice that WVJC was her path and was going to be the college that helped her to succeed in her next adventure.

For Kim, picking the program she was most interested in was easy. “I chose medical assisting so that I could take my time and learn the basics of nursing from the ground up.” She enjoyed her opportunity to spread her wings in a school that she could trust. “It was a great opportunity to learn with only a small number of students, yet large enough in knowledge.” This was all very exciting for Kim and she described it as “finding a diamond in the rough.”

Kim said she enjoyed all the courses and instructors at WVJC and she can’t pick a favorite. “Each class had its learning curves and without the teachers that were teaching it, I don’t know if I would have excelled as I did.”

After graduating from WVJC, Kim was offered a job at Health Access Inc. Health Access is a free and charitable clinic for those under-insured or who have no insurance at all. Kim proudly said, “We here at Health Access have the ability to help those that cannot get help otherwise. All walks of life enter the clinic and yet they are all treated with kindness, patience, and caring, that at times they may not see. I do more than assist in the medical area of the clinic, I have learned to work the business side as well, and thanks to WVJC I know what to expect. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t count my blessings for my path leading to Health Access.”

Kim offered some advice for those that are thinking about WVJC or for those that are in one of the programs now. “Show up. Be on time. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to learn and to keep your parachute of a mind open.  It will be a challenging experience with huge rewards at the end.”

Kim would like to leave you with “wonderful advice” of Dr. Seuss “You have the brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

To learn more about WVJC’s fast track Clinical Medical Assistant program, request information here!

 

The Growing Medical Industry In Harrison County

Healthcare is dynamic. There are always new discoveries being made such as better ways to manage illness and more efficient ways of providing and managing healthcare delivery.  These concepts have become very apparent in the midst of a global pandemic. Healthcare will be forever changed, but how does a global pandemic affect healthcare close to home?

Harrison County has seen great growth in options for care including increasing availability of specialists and primary care providers, and best care treatment that, at one time, was only available at major out-of-state hospitals. Locally, there are now health coaches and care navigators to support those with chronic or complex medical needs to access the most appropriate care and reduce complications.

However, there are some challenging statistics facing our area. Harrison County is not immune to feeling the effects of a nation-wide nursing shortage. The latest information shows that approximately 35%-40% of nurses currently practicing in WV are within 5-7 years of retiring. West Virginia ranks 4th in the number of residents over 65 and 1st in the number of residents with diabetes. Our facilities are adding advanced technology such as fully electronic records and upgrading to high-tech diagnostic equipment. In the mix of all of this change, COVID-19 hit and changed how we provide direct care to people, how people access care and visit their doctors, and even how we maintain and order supplies. This has also led to an overnight explosion in telehealth use.

Why does all of this information matter? For local hospitals, facilities, and healthcare providers to be able to meet the needs of Harrison County residents, they will require a pool of well-trained individuals. Not only nurses, but those with IT specialties to maintain the growing technologies, and medical assistants and office managers to keep departments running smoothly and supplies readily available. Some other types of healthcare professionals that will be needed include those in dentistry, physical/occupational therapy, and mental health services.

If you have considered a career change or have an interest in pursuing a healthcare career or becoming an essential worker request information here!