Back to School Bash

The Practical Nursing students from WVJC-Bridgeport held a “Back to School Bash” on campus on August 2, 2021. This free event was part of their community nursing curriculum and allowed students to complete the project from planning stages to implementation with the help of their instructor. An estimated five hundred people were in attendance to enjoy the event.

Traditionally, the nursing students have helped in various summer camps throughout the area, such as the Boy Scouts Camp, but due to Covid-19, camps were not open this year. Therefore, the students got creative and developed a plan to give back to our community, specifically the local youth. The students partnered with various local businesses and organizations to hand out two hundred and nine-teen backpacks filled with school supplies.  Additionally, the children could get free sports physicals from a local quick care office that came to the campus and coupons for free haircuts.

Many fun activities were available for the local kids to participate in, such as the military rock wall climbing, face painting, a dunking booth, karate demonstrations, and a duck pond with great prizes. Local area first responders were also in attendance for the youth to interact with and tour the fire trucks and police cars. The highlight of the afternoon was when the HealthNet helicopter landed. All that were in attendance were in awe and enjoyed learning about and exploring the aircraft. Having the opportunity to get hands-on experience was great!

The Practical Nursing students organized a fun-filled community outreach event that was enjoyed by all in attendance and made everyone at WVJC-Bridgeport proud.

Learn more about our WVJC Practical Nursing program or other allied health programs by requesting information here!

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!

Cody Joe – Student Highlight

Cody Joe has been in the medical field since the age of 19, working as a paramedic. While working as an EMS, he was able to help patients in some very significant ways and make a positive impact on their lives. During that time, Cody realized he wanted to make even more of an impact with patients, and he believes that by becoming a nurse, he will be able to spend more time with each patient catering to their specific needs.

Cody attends WVJC full time and works full time as a paramedic, but he doesn’t stop there. He caught the entrepreneurial bug, running his own business as a personal-body transformation coach, training clients using his nutrition certification, and working with manufacturers to produce his supplemental line creating his unique brand. He has been hard at work with his business since November 2020 and is pouring every bit of profit right back into it, striving for excellence, as he believes this will be his nest egg for retirement. Cody has offered his training and nutritional services to his current classmates at WVJC, and several students have already taken him up on this offer. Cody put together a plan with a healthier diet and achievable goals to get each of them into better physical shape and to help them create healthier lifestyles overall.

He plans to enroll in Chamberlain University to further his education and obtain his BSN degree after graduating from the Nursing program at WVJC. When he graduates from WVJC in December 2022, he plans to work alongside his wife in the ER. Cody would also like to continue his education by getting his Master’s Degree and then become a Nurse Practitioner while also working full time.

Cody has tremendous support from his wife, family, and friends as he embarks on this new adventure to learn new skills to make a real difference in patients’ lives. Cody chose WVJC because he heard good things from recent graduates about WVJC’s Nursing program. However, he says the most significant selling point is an accelerated program that offers a degree in just 18 months. WVJC is excited to have students like Cody, who are patient-oriented nurses making sure their needs are met.

To learn more about WVJC’s Nursing program, 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!

Branson Crites – Graduate Highlight

Branson Crites originally enrolled at West Virginia Junior College in the Information Technology diploma program. He graduated in 2020 and decided to re-enroll in the Network Administration Security degree program. Branson made this choice because he wanted to get the most out of his education. He enjoyed his first 12 months and didn’t want his education experience to end. In June 2021, he graduated with two degrees from WVJC.

Branson’s favorite part of WVJC is making friends. “Getting to know fellow students and even staff was helpful in getting comfortable with school again, which helped me stick with it,” he says.

Branson’s favorite teacher at WVJC is Ms. Holyfield, who teaches many general education courses and manages the library. Branson stated, “Ms. Holyfield has been instrumental in my success as a student. She has always been there when I needed her, and she never has any problems letting me be myself. I know that even after my time as a student ends, she will always be there for me.” Having someone in his corner every step of the way at WVJC gave Branson the confidence he needed to excel in his courses.

After graduation, Branson would love to have a job that gives him hands-on experience working in the IT field. When asked how he would like his life to be in five years, Branson replied, “In five years, hopefully, I will have learned a lot more about information technology management and maybe turn toward education. Helping others learn about what I am passionate about seems like a great way to live life.”

Branson also stated that “WVJC is the environment that is ultimately set up for you to succeed, and all the support you could need is available.” Branson is very excited to have graduated and hopes to find a great job. He feels confident that he will be a valuable asset to any company he finds employment with. His certifications and experience gained through his externships have given him the knowledge and confidence to get out there and start working in the field he is passionate about.

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

 

Amanda Poling – Nursing Staff Highlight

Amanda Poling has been employed by WVJC since December 2020 as the Clinical Coordinator for the nursing programs. She is responsible for the clinical side of both nursing programs at the Bridgeport campus. As the clinical coordinator, Amanda is responsible for developing affiliation agreements with various area hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. She ensures all students are compliant with West Virginia Board of Nursing requirements for clinical experience and schedules all clinical assignments for the practical nursing students and registered nursing students. She takes great pride in developing sound clinical experiences for the students and enjoys hearing all the stories students have from the clinical rotations.

When asked what motivates her, she had this to say, “What motivates me is hearing the excitement the students have after a wonderful clinical day. They are able to take the information and knowledge learned in the classroom and apply [it] to real patients. It gives them a sense of accomplishment when they are able to link a concept learned in the classroom to their live patient in the clinical setting.”

Prior to working at WVJC, Amanda wore many hats. She graduated from Alderson Broaddus College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing her nursing degree, she worked as a pediatric oncology nurse, traveled as a pediatric oncology nurse, worked as an outpatient infusion nurse, surgical nurse, and most recently, as an assistant professor of nursing. Amanda continued her education and obtained a Master’s of Business Administration in Healthcare Management Degree in 2016 from Western Governors University, and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree from Walden University in 2017. She also recently applied to The University of Southern Mississippi’s doctoral program.

Her favorite part of working for WVJC is watching the students become successful professionals.  She also appreciates the flexibility and the wonderful administration and staff that have the same passion for seeing students succeed.

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

Randy Holcomb – Student Highlight

Randy is a thirty‑one-year-old working toward obtaining an associate degree in information technology.  His favorite class so far has been Networking 103.  When asked why that class was his favorite said, “that’s the class where you finally put your knowledge and hard work to use.  You’ve spent all this time creating your ‘baby,’ and now you can start working with it.”

Randy comes from a labor background, has an 18-month old son, and even though he is older than the traditional student, he is highly driven to succeed in his academic goals to give his family a better future. Randy decided to start a career in the IT field because he feels it would give him a career doing something interesting and new. Randy also stated that a career where you can sit while you work sounds pretty appealing after so many years of labor.

Randy feels that many WVJC faculty and staff have helped him along his academic journey, but most of all, he is grateful for Mr. Powell and Ms. Middleton. Randy stated that Ms.  Middleton worked with him and understood the financial struggles that college brings. She was patient, helpful, and did whatever she could to make sure he was able to attend WVJC. Mr.  Powell is understanding and accommodating. If it wasn’t for him, Randy feels he would not fully understand the content in the difficult IT courses. Randy states that Mr. Powell is a phenomenal instructor who goes above and beyond for his students.

Randy enjoys the challenges that college-level learning brings.  One tool he said that has been an asset to him in his college career is the “inability to lose.”  Randy is very competitive, and luckily some of his classes allow him to use that as motivation.

When asked what his favorite part of WVJC was, Randy stated, “The class structure and small class sizes are extremely beneficial.  Knowing your instructors have your back and truly want you to succeed is incredible.  The entire staff has a fantastic, helpful attitude.  Honestly, WVJC as a whole is my favorite thing.”

Randy’s advice to other students would be to put in as much work and as many hours as your instructors do.  Do not lose your motivation.  Remember your reason for being there.  You have to have accountability.  Most importantly, you have to be driven to succeed.  Your instructors can only do so much.  You’re taught 90%, and the other 10% has to come from you.

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

What’s New At WVJC Bridgeport??

The WVJC Nursing Department is excited to announce that we have received a state-of-the-art mannequin for our nursing skills lab. Nursing students will be learning skills and thinking critically in our new state-of-the-art simulation lab! By using a high-fidelity mannequin that talks, has heart and lung sounds, and has the capacity to do a 12-lead EKG, plus many more realistic features, faculty will be able to mimic a real patient scenario with a real problem in a real hospital setting.

As healthcare changes, nurses are expected to hit the ground running with high-level decision-making skills, as well as technological and problem-solving abilities. Simulation has been accepted in nursing education as a valuable tool to let nurses have a variety of experiences that may not be available during their hospital rotations. For example, students may not see a cardiac arrest or an asthma attack during their time in clinical rotations. With simulation, students can practice their decision-making skills in a controlled environment. Errors in judgment can be identified and discussed, and best practices can be reinforced. WVJC students are required to pre-plan for their “patient,” come to the lab, take care of their “patient,” and then participate in post-conference for debriefing.

Simulation experiences will not replace hospital experiences but will add to students’ clinical knowledge.  Research demonstrates that students feel more confident in the hospital setting after participating in simulation exercises. WVJC Nursing Simulation and ATI Coordinator, Dianne Phillips often quotes Coach Flint Wallace, “You play like you practice,” as well as, “I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.” Therefore, WVJC wants to ensure students have the opportunity to practice as many real-world critical care situations as possible. We are so excited we have the opportunity to offer this to students!

To learn more about WVJC’s simulation lab, request information here!

Donna Hendrickson – Graduate Highlight

Donna Hendrickson, CCMA, is a graduate of the Clinical Medical Assistant program at West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport Campus. She originally heard of WVJC from a radio ad and decided to look into the campus. After she visited the campus, she decided to enroll in the program. Donna was always dedicated to her work, grades, and attendance record while a student, and because of that, Donna graduated in August of 2020 with her associate degree and obtained her National Healthcareer Association, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification.

After graduation, she went on to work at the Clarksburg Health Department, where she was working alongside the staff in the fight against COVID-19. While working, Donna decided that she wanted to go back to school for nursing, so she contacted WVJC Bridgeport to further her education. In January of 2021, Donna utilized the bridge program between the Clinical Medical Assistant program and Practical Nursing program to further her career from CMA to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)*.

Donna says, “I cannot express how much the CMA program changed my life. I would not be accomplishing all that I am in the LPN program without that foundational knowledge.”

Donna’s favorite parts of WVJC are the instructors, the small campus, and how supportive everyone is to each other. She says, “Even after you leave, the instructors like to hear of your news and adventures in your new career.” The instructors that made the biggest impact in her life during her studies as a CMA student were Mrs. Syrews and Ms. Holyfield. In her current studies as a practical nursing student, Ms. Prusa, and Mrs. Foster.

In five years, Donna would like to be in a job that she enjoys, where she is helping patients and making their experience in a medical setting the best it can be, whether it’s working as a school nurse or an LPN in an outpatient setting.

When asked if Donna would recommend WVJC to a friend, Donna smiled and said, “I would definitely recommend WVJC to a friend. There is great support, encouragement, and career guidance if you are willing to commit to studying and attending classes.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the fast-track, career-focused programs at WVJC, request information here!

 

*Passing the NCLEX-PN exam is required to become a Licensed Practical Nurse.

How To Administer An
Intermuscular Injection

Today, watch Amanda Foster, West Virginia Junior College’s Clinical Instructor, and Leanna Helmick, a current Practical Nursing student, demonstrate how to administer an Intermuscular Injection.

This demonstration will inform you of the steps to take and the safety measurements to adhere to for you as a medical professional and the patient.  If you want to get into the medical field and want to learn more about intermuscular injections or other procedures like this, check out WVJC’s healthcare programs HERE.  Enjoy the video!