Marissa Keplinger – Student Highlight

Marissa Keplinger is a student in the Dental Assisting Degree program. Before coming to West Virginia Junior College, Marissa attended Salem University for nursing. Marissa stated that Salem University was not the right fit for her needs and felt, after much research, that WVJC would be able to meet her needs. Marissa said, “That the environment is what makes her love WVJC.” Marissa feels WVJC truly cares about their students and wants everyone to succeed, unlike feeling like a number in the crowd at larger colleges or universities where they don’t know who you are.

Marissa really enjoys the experiences at WVJC.  She appreciates that many of the classes are hands-on, which helps assist her in her future goals and career path. Marissa also looks forward to the externship, where she will spend time at a dental office to gain a better understanding of how a dental office runs.  She also stated that the training during classes helped her experience how it would be in an actual dental setting and how to conduct proper patient care, like practicing dental procedures on fellow students instead of the mannequin heads,

Marissa said,  “She had spent a great deal of time trying to find the right career path she wanted to take. She job shadowed in the hospital setting and even assisted a teacher but was not passionate about those career paths.” Marissa knew that dental assisting was something she was passionate about because teeth are the first thing she notices about a person, and she wants to help people achieve a pretty and healthy smile.

She chose the Dental Assisting program at WVJC because she wants to help boost the confidence of others by helping people feel better about their smile. That is something very rewarding to her. Marissa looks forward to the rest of her classes and is excited about the job opportunities that will be available once she completes her program.

If WVJC’s fast-track Dental Assisting program sounds like the perfect fit for you, and you’d like to find out how you can get started today, request information here!

United Hospital Center – Externship Highlight

As the need for highly qualified nurses grows, and nursing educators are struggling to fill clinical adjunct positions with qualified instructors, both healthcare facilities and nursing schools are looking for a creative means to bridge this gap. This is why the WVJC-Bridgeport/United Hospital Center Clinical Partnership was developed.

This partnership began with WVJC’s 2020 cohort of nursing students. United Hospital Center provides a clinical instructor for each nursing class to provide on-site training in various units at United Hospital Center. In return, WVJC provides $20,000 in scholarships to UHC employees enrolled in the Nursing program and selected by hospital administration to receive the scholarship. Through this partnership, not only does WVJC have excellent adjunct instructors, but students are also able to be fully immersed in the culture of UHC. In addition, this allows for a much smoother transition from student nurse to staff nurse if a new graduate chooses to work at UHC.

United Hospital strives to have excellent patient care, and its mission is to “enhance the health status of the citizens of north-central WV.” We are excited to be a part of a facility that provides amazing quality care and treatment to everyone. WVJC is proud to be associated with a healthcare facility with such a great reputation within our community.

In the future, WVJC is hoping to partner with other facilities to enhance student clinical experiences and to better prepare them to enter the workforce.

To learn more about the exciting partnerships occurring at WVJC, request information here!

Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics –
Externship Highlight

WVJC collaborates with Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics to provide dental assisting students hands-on learning opportunities during their externship. Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics has provided the communities of South Charleston, WV, and Gallipolis, OH, with excellent orthodontic care since 1993.  Orthodontic care is delivered with the expert assistance of a talented and friendly team utilizing the most advanced techniques available.

Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics offers a comprehensive range of orthodontic treatments for children and adults that allows students to receive a great overview of the specialty dental field. WVJC’s dental assisting students observe and perform hands-on skills in a professional orthodontic office setting with up-to-date dental equipment and advanced technology. Students have the opportunity to take digital x-rays, prepare and sterilize instruments, perform lab procedures, and interact with patients.

The staff and faculty at WVJC are grateful for the collaboration with Panucci & Jackfert Orthodontics.  Students love the friendliness of the staff and the opportunity to learn the latest and greatest advancements in the orthodontic field. The externship experience is extremely beneficial for students as they apply their skills in a dental office setting.

If you are looking for a fast-track training program that provides you an externship experience, request information here!

Pharmacy Technician – Progam Highlight

Jamie McGuire, the WVJC Pharmacy Technician Program Director, beamed with excitement when we sat down to discuss the advantages students have when attending the WVJC Online Pharmacy Technician Program.

“Pharmacy technicians are in demand within many versatile settings,” Jamie tells us. These settings include hospital and clinic pharmacies, community and retail pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, and pharmacies in primary care organizations. It is also no surprise to find pharmacy technicians in education and training settings, prisons, the military, and pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry. In WVJC’s program, we assist our students with obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a position in any of these pharmaceutical areas.

Through the WVJC Online Pharmacy Technician Program, students can expect to learn how to compound medications, assemble medication for prescriptions, fill and label prescriptions, and verify the accuracy of those orders. Students also learn how to provide patients and other healthcare professionals with relevant information regarding medications. Within their roles as pharmacy technicians, these foundational skills are the gateway for advancement. WVJC’s program also gives students an understanding of medication therapy management, insurance and billing, and specialized medications such as chemotherapy. Our pharmacy technician students not only learn these skills, but also get to bring these learning concepts to life as they participate in hands-on training through weekend clinical activities, externship experiences, and WVJC’s new customized pharmacy technician simulation training. Alongside the simulation training, WVJC Online students will receive a home kit completed with the tools they need to get hands-on training right in their home, so they feel confident on their first day of externship and as they start to merge into their career.

When asked which characteristics students need to succeed in this career, Jamie replied, “someone that is ready to go on an adventure! Most individuals think that it is academics or ‘book smarts’ that will make them succeed in this field. However, it is not just academics. Many mistakes happen during the learning process, and they have to be able to learn from those mistakes and let them go. Students that are willing to work hard and willing to push forward are the ones that succeed.”

Not only is the academic experience an adventure for WVJC Online students, but the career progression for pharmacy technicians looks promising for a fulfilled career journey. As pharmacists continue to evolve to provide more direct patient care, you can expect to see an evolution in the role of pharmacy technicians as well. We are already witnessing the first steps into the future of pharmacy technicians due to COVID-19, as pharmacy technicians are currently administering vaccinations to patients on the frontlines. As the demand for pharmacy technicians continues to increase, you will see more advanced certifications coming into play for pharmacy technicians to continue to grow in their field.

“Being a pharmacy technician is one of healthcare’s best kept secrets, because there is so much opportunity, demand, and growth happening in the industry. It is a surprisingly rewarding industry to dive into and is more than what meets the eye!” Jamie exclaims.

To learn more about WVJC Online’s exciting Pharmacy Technician program, request information here!

What I Would Wear – College Edition

WVJC Charleston students came together to share with you what they would wear in different scenarios. Starting with a typical school day, then transitioning to their externship, and then on to their career.

On a typical day, students spend time in the classroom getting hands-on experience. So students can dress more casually.

When our students start the externship process, they get to work in their field and receive on-the-job training! Here you’ll see students modeling what they wear for medical assisting, dental assisting, information technology, and business administration externship training.

Once students complete their 18-month program and externship, they are ready to start their careers! At WVJC, we strive to prepare you for a great career and a great life. Let’s get started on yours today!

 

 

Information Technology – Program Highlight

The fast-track Information Technology (IT) Associate Degree Program at West Virginia Junior College Charleston is an 18-month program that prepares graduates for a wide variety of entry-level positions in the technology field.  The IT Program begins with courses in PC repair and troubleshooting, operating systems, peripherals, and mobile devices. Students then progress into an in-depth course sequence focusing on networking skills and technologies, such as routing and switching.  The IT Program also focuses on security and server management, and administration. During the last 12 weeks of the program, students complete an externship to apply the IT skills learned in the classroom in the workplace.

Professional certifications are important in the technology field. In addition to earning an associate degree, WVJC students in the IT program prepare for three leading industry certifications from CompTIA. These include the A+ certification, which focuses on PC troubleshooting and repair, the Network+ certification, which focuses on networking skills and technologies, and the Security+ certification, which is optional and focuses on information security.

The Information Technology program is now enrolling for evening classes.  If you are interested in learning more about the fast-track, career-focused programs at WVJC, such as Information Technology, request information here!

Wheeling Health Right – Externship Highlight

West Virginia Junior College is honored to have collaborated with Wheeling Health Right to provide hands-on learning opportunities for our Medical Office Administration and Clinical Medical Assistant students.

Wheeling Health Right’s journey and commitment to their patients is undeniably admirable. Beginning as a soup kitchen in the 1980s to today, where they have been able to provide free medical services to those that are uninsured and underinsured in the Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, and Tyler Counties in West Virginia and Belmont County, Ohio.

Our medical office students get hands-on experience in providing client care, upholding office organization, maintaining medical records, and performing basic billing and coding through our collaboration with Wheeling Health Right. Our medical assisting students get to experience direct patient interactions, where they are able to assist physicians with patient examinations, perform patient care techniques such as obtaining vitals, and gain a deeper knowledge of skills in basic clinical laboratory methods.

As Wheeling Health Right continues to grow its comprehensive medical care, preventative care, and pharmaceutical services, West Virginia Junior College is thrilled to see more opportunities open up for its students. West Virginia Junior College finds this externship opportunity to be incredibly beneficial for their allied health students because of Wheeling Health Right’s passion, commitment, and knowledge in providing exceptional patient care to vulnerable populations.

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

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!

The Importance Of An Externship at WVJC

West Virginia Junior College offers many great experiences to help you start your career. From the instruction specific to your program, to the exceptionally dedicated staff and faculty, our staff does everything they can to help our students be successful. Additionally, all enrolled students participate in an externship that is specific to their program. Whether you are a residential or online student, an externship will be completed. These externships provide hands-on experience for our students in the field they will be working in.

The dedicated range of hours necessary to complete your externship is 90 or 160 hours. These hours are completed in a 12-week time span. WVJC has developed many relationships with reputable businesses in and around our student’s location of residency to assist with making their externship term go as smoothly as possible.

Being given the opportunity to work with a location site for your externship hours is beneficial in more than one way. This opportunity should be added to a professional resume, giving employers the opportunity to see hands-on experiences gained to partner with your education. Many WVJC students are offered employment opportunities from the locations at which they complete their externship.

WVJC strives for student success and promotes the valuable experiences that students are able to achieve within their externships.

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

Carlie Wagner – Graduate Highlight

Before deciding to attend WVJC, Carlie Wagner was a senior at Buffalo High School. Carlie understands the importance of a college education and she knew from a young age that she wanted to earn her degree.  When she started looking at colleges, she knew she wanted a fast track program that would lead her into a career. Carlie also knew that she did not want to spend years taking classes that were not related to her field of study and the burden of unnecessary student loan debt.

Carlie was interested in the medical field starting at a young age. She chose the Clinical Medical Assistant Degree Program at WVJC because her goal is to be a Registered Nurse. Carlie said, “My favorite part about attending WVJC was meeting new friends and learning new information.”  Carlie enjoyed her Anatomy and Physiology classes with Dr. Settle. She said, “In high school, I hated Anatomy, but in college I thoroughly enjoyed it! Dr. Settle and Chelsea Abbott made learning fun.”

During the last 6 weeks of her program at WVJC, Carlie completed 160 hours of externship at Charleston Area Medical Center Urology.  She loved her externship experience at CAMC! She even had the opportunity to work with her mom during that time. Carlie described her externship as an easy transition into the medical field. She said, “I received training for a week and then I was able to chart and triage patients by myself.”

In December 2020, Carlie accepted a position as a Certified Medical Assistant at Marshall Pediatrics. She said, “I am looking forward to learning new things and working with babies and little kids.” After getting some experience as a medical assistant, Carlie’s goal is to further her education to become a Registered Nurse.

Carlie said, “I would totally recommend WVJC to any friend I know who doesn’t want a big debt and is looking for a quick program to get them out in the world and love what they are doing.”

If you would like to know more about the fast track medical programs or other programs at WVJC, request information here!