Polk Schools Offer Array of Medical Programs to Prepare Students for Booming Healthcare Fields
Central Florida Health News|September 2020
THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR IS BOOMING, and people all across the country are taking note. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that from 2006 and 2016, 2.8 million jobs were added to the health sector. That’s almost seven times faster than the rest of the economy! Jobs in healthcare settings grew more than 20 percent, outpacing jobs in other areas of the economy. Better yet, BLS expects the growth of jobs in the healthcare sector will continue to grow at a rate of 6 percent during the next decade.
MARY TOOTHMAN

Perfectly in tune with the positive predictions for the future of the industry, Polk County is a prime training ground for healthcare professions.

A wide variety of medical curriculum options are available to students at area higher education schools, allowing for career choices ranging from medical laboratory sciences to nursing programs.

Melody Rider, campus president at Keiser University, says nursing is among the most populated programs at her school. Obtaining an associate of science and nursing and/or a bachelor of science in nursing are high on the list, as well as programs that train students to become physical therapist assistants, respiratory therapists, and registered alcohol and drug technicians.

The school’s diagnostic medical sonography program is climbing in attendance numbers, Rider says. “Nursing remains strong, with the bachelor of nursing on the climb,” Rider says.

Enrollment in Imaging Sciences remains steady at the school, and the physical therapist assistant program is in high demand. The bachelor’s program leading from a registered nursing degree to a bachelor of science degree in nursing is also a draw at Keiser.

At Polk State College, administrators are proud of the school’s health sciences programs. “Polk State College’s health sciences programs have maintained a longstanding reputation and boast impressive graduation, certification and employment rates that reinforce their rigor and success in preparing students for careers in healthcare,” says Madison Fantozzi, director of communications.

We’ve compiled a full list of training opportunities at local schools. It is important to note that schools have set up individually appropriate resolutions to learning during the pandemic. Usual opening dates may be delayed, and e-learning options have been created in many cases.

Florida Southern College

111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801, (863) 680-4111

A Medical Laboratory Sciences degree is an allied health career opportunity for students interested in working in a clinical laboratory. Medical laboratory scientists are healthcare professionals who perform chemical, hematological, immunological, histopathological, cytopathological, microscopic, and bacteriological diagnostic analyses on patient samples.

Students usually work in hospital clinical laboratories, commercial laboratories, for pharmaceutical, chemical, or biotechnology companies. They are also involved in research at teaching institutions.

This four-year degree includes experience working in the clinical laboratories at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Students begin taking courses at the hospital in their third year before transitioning into a full-time internship in their fourth year.

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