LPSS expands Career Center medical program to meet healthcare demand

The Lafayette Parish School System has expanded the medical program at the W.D. & Mary Baker Smith Career Center because of the need for qualified healthcare professionals needed following the pandemic.

This fall, students will be able to take classes to become Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), Patient Care Technicians (PCT) and Medical Assistants (MA). The EMT class was previously only available at Lafayette High School through the Health Careers Magnet Academy.

LPSS says it is now one of three courses offered by the Career Center to prepare students for careers in emergency medicine and healthcare.

In addition to EMT, classes for Patient Care Technicians and Medical Assistants will be open to LPSS high school juniors and seniors this fall. Because healthcare professionals are in high demand, many employers even offer signing bonuses for new recruits. Acadian Ambulance, for example, is offering $1,000 sign-on bonuses for recent high school graduates with their EMT certification.

The company also offers tuition support for those who are interested in pursuing further training and certification as a paramedic. Patient Care Technicians and Medical Assistants work in hospitals, physician’s offices, clinics, nursing homes, laboratories and insurance companies. PCTs provide care to meet patient’s basic needs, while MAs perform clinical and administrative duties and directly assist physicians.

“We are proud to provide our students with training and certification opportunities that can help them secure in-demand positions in healthcare,” said Career Center Principal Holly Boffy. “Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries and can be a great choice for recent high school graduates seeking full-time, entry-level positions with potential for advancement.”

Students interested in taking these courses next school year should complete the application on the Career Center website and speak to their school counselor about scheduling the classes.

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