One of Piedmont Technical College’s institutional mission goals is to “promote community and workforce development and economic prosperity through new and existing partnerships with business, industry, government, community agencies, and educational institutions.” One of the ways PTC is achieving that goal is through its diverse relationships with the local health care community.
Lisa Bartanus, program manager for quality improvement and lean manufacturing at Piedmont Tech, puts her years of quality training and practical experience to work with Self Regional Healthcare. Since early 2016, she has been consulting for Self Regional’s Quality Management Services Department.
“My role has been to help train and mentor new employees in that department, as well as other team members working at Self Regional on process improvement teams,” said Bartanus, who is a former director of management engineering at Self Regional.
Another project with Self Regional involves new patient care technicians who were trained through PTC’s Economic Development & Continuing Education division.
“I love the fact that we were able to see those people transition from training into their real-world jobs,” Bartanus said. “The first class graduated 11 and there are more classes planned in the future.”
Patient care technicians team with nurses to work at the bedside, taking care of patients’ physical and emotional needs, such as bathing and dressing.
“Whether it’s hospitals, doctors’ offices or nursing homes, there is a need for trained workers, especially at the entry level,” said Rusty Denning, Piedmont Tech’s associate vice president for economic development and continuing education. “To keep the pipeline filled, we’re able to put together training programs that are shorter in duration than an associate’s degree program – and we’re usually able to respond fairly quickly.”
PTC is also expanding a training program for certified nursing assistants in partnership with Goodwill Industries of the Upstate/Midlands South Carolina. The program, which began in 2012 in Greenwood, is now also being offered in Laurens and Newberry.
More than 200 students have passed the certification exam to become CNAs. The program’s success rate is 90 percent, well above the statewide goal of 80 percent and the actual statewide average of 72 percent.
“We’re very pleased with how the program has progressed,” Denning said.
CNAs provide basic care for clients and patients in a number of environments, from hospitals to nursing homes and adult day care facilities. Each class consists of eight students and lasts four weeks. Job placement rates for program graduates have been high.
“CNA is a good, entry-level way to get into the health care field,” Denning said. “Piedmont Technical College is glad to be able to team up with Goodwill to provide this opportunity.”