By Rose Klein
Greene Publishing, Inc.
North Florida Community College is an accredited college in Madison that offers associate degree programs and technical certificates for individuals seeking more than a high school diploma. Julie Townsend, the Allied Health Director for North Florida Community College (NFCC), oversees the daily functioning of the healthcare program at the Madison college, but also works to keep the school current on the healthcare education necessary for the community, such as the new Pharmacy Technician program. Townsend said the program recognized the need for this position in the community and they responded by filling the need with an educational program in order to cover that need.
Other healthcare programs offered at NFCC are Associate Degree Registered Nursing, Practical Nursing Certificate (LPN), Patient Care Technicians Certification Program (PCT), Medical Administrative Specialist Certificate Program (MAS) and also new to the program this year a Licensed Practical Nurse to Associate Degree Registered Nursing (LPN to RN) Accelerated Bridge program, that will allow non-traditional students to continue working by only attending classes at the college part-time.
Course work and clinicals aren’t the only subjects students participate in while enrolled in healthcare classes at NFCC. “Not only do we teach students to be in healthcare leadership roles, but in community service roles,” says Townsend. A current community project is underway and organized by five NFCC LPN students. They are hosting a 5K run in Perry to benefit Taylor County Deputy Robert Lundy who was shot in the line of duty at a Ford dealership. All proceeds from the run will go directly to Deputy Lundy and his family to help cover the cost of medical bills and other expenses.
More community service from NFCC in April is a Health Expo, scheduled for April 4 and planned to include booths offering information on the following topics: Dexa Scan/Bone Density, Healthy Start, Abstinence, STD/HIV/Nutrition, Chronic Disease/Nutrition, Blood Pressure Screening, Tobacco Program, Fla. Department of Health Clinic Information, Fitness and Personal Health Information Management. Other involvement the college has with the community includes a partnership with Saint Leo University that works with the campus in order to accommodate students working toward a four-year degree. They also partner with doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities and major hospitals to allow NFCC students participation in clinicals, necessary for their education requirements.
Technology at NFCC is an area where Townsend says they strive to stay current. The school’s newest technological adventure is iPads and Surface Pro tablets that can be moved from classroom to classroom by individual students. A more fascinating technology used by the college, however, is the patient simulators. The high-fidelity simulators have come a long way from the androgynous “Annie” simulators used in CPR classes. The human replicas simulates real interaction between student and patient and allows healthcare students to practice procedures on the simulators, before working with real patients, or if no patient is available (such as a labor and delivery nurse, who needs practice with infant care, when no infant is available). The patient simulators have heart and abdominal sounds, lung function, voices, and have all available orifices for students to practice IVs, taking blood pressure, NG tubes, catheters or delivering babies. Simulators come in all sizes, from infant to adult, leaving no procedure off-limits to the student. NFCC (and Florida) has been restricted to how much simulation schools can use, but new legislation is hoping to change that restriction.
Although North Florida Community College offers quality healthcare education, they are diverse in other career education programs as well. The school offers associate in arts and associate in science degrees that cover business programs, digital and multimedia, office technology, public safety, early childhood education and administrative specialist. The campus also offers continuing education, workforce development, NFCC online high school along with the four-year degree program with Saint Leo mentioned above.
To contact North Florida Community College, call (850) 973-2288 or visit their website at www.nfcc.edu. If you are interested in participating in the Robert Lundy 5K
run, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit NFCC Nursing and Allied Health on Facebook.