MONDAY Q&A: ICTC's Brady helps produce next generation of health care workers
Bev Brady, the program supervisor for the medical assistant program at the Indiana County Technology Center, has her finger on the pulse of the next generation of health care workers. She talked recently with Gazette correspondent Emily Weber about the expanding curriculum.
Question: How many students graduate from the medical assistant program each year?
Answer: Last year we graduated 22.
Question: What do you teach?
Answer: Medical assisting. Students who take this are versatile in the profession, so they have the ability to work in administrative duties and clinical duties. They’re trained administratively in electronic medical records and billing and coding. Clinically, they’re trained to take vital signs, administer injections, phlebotomy, which is drawing blood, and assist physicians with procedures.
Question: How long have you been the program supervisor for the medical assistant program?
Answer: This will be my third year.
Question: What does supervising the program entail?
Answer: I do a lot of student recruiting, attending a lot of different job fairs. I keep all of the instructors up to date on new policies and procedures, write new policies and procedures, establish the curriculum, incorporate new technology, schedule faculty meetings and conduct meetings of the occupational advisory committee, and basic day-to-day functions that teachers do. Now that we’re expanding, I’ll be overseeing that project as well.
Question: How is the ICTC expanding its medical assistant program?
Answer: It’ll be at the Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in New Stanton, and we will be opening that site in August. We expect around 25 students.
Question: What are the challenges of preparing students for technical careers in this region of the state?
Answer: It’s just staying up to date on all the technical changes. The health care field is going toward electronic medical records, so it’s keeping students aware of all those changes. Everything is online and computer-based, so it’s all about updating and reviewing the curriculum to make it matches the work force.
Question: Do you see more students in the region opting for technical training instead of a four-year degree?
Answer: That’s starting to reverse. We do see a lot more people going to technical schools because the demand is there for skilled workers. It’s a national trend.
Question: Can you add anything else about the Indiana County Technology Center?
Answer: The medical assistant program is for adult education, and we meet in the evenings Monday through Thursday and one Saturday a month. We’re geared for working adults. We also offer a variety of certifications with the completion of the programs through the National Health Career Association. We have certifications in phlebotomy and clinical medical assisting, and our students are able to sit for the RMA exam through the American Medical Technologists. We have financial aid available to those who qualify.
• EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you know someone who would be a great subject for the Monday Q&A? If so, please call Jason Levan at (724) 465-5555, ext. 270.
BEV BRADY, at a glance...
Job title: Supervisor and lead instructor of the Indiana County Technology Center’s medical assistant program
Where I grew up: Heilwood
Family: Husband, Mark
Hobbies: Gardening, kayaking, bike riding
Favorite food: Anything from Luigi’s
Food I refuse to eat: Mushrooms
Last book I read: “The Fallen Angel” series by J.R. Ward
Favorite way to spend a day: Gardening
Life goal: To be in a position where I help people
People who most inspired me: My students inspire me. They overcome struggles every day as some of them are balancing work, family and school.