Health Care Fields Remain in High Demand

Health care continues to be one of the strongest occupational fields in the country. The economic slowdown has had little impact on the health care employment, according to the Department of Labor, and eight of the 20 most rapidly growing jobs are in health care fields. In Kentucky, a 25% increase in health care jobs is expected from 2010-2020, according to the Kentucky Occupational outlook.

Ashland Community and Technical College offers several diploma and associate degree programs to help people pre pare for those high demand, good paying jobs. 

The Associate of Science Degree is available to students who plan on university transfer for careers such as doctor of medicine, dentist, physician’s assistant, pharmacist and other medical specialties.  This degree combines general education and science foundation courses for transfer into bachelor’s degree programs at area universities.   Many area physicians and dentists started their college careers at ACTC.

The Health Care Science Technology Program helps students prepare for entry-level health care jobs or for selective admission health care programs.  Students unsure of their health care field can work on courses that will be useful for many programs.  This Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) program includes general education classes and technical courses that can be applied to a variety of specific majors.

Specific Career Programs

These programs have selective admission requirements, and fall semester is a good time to start on the courses required for acceptance. August 4 is the application deadline for fall semester, and applications and program descriptions are on the web at: ashland.kctcs.edu. For more information, contact the Health Sciences Office, 606.326.2086, or email: rslone0014@kctcs.edu

Associate Degree Nursing Program students learn to provide and manage client care as registered nurses in beginning staff-level positions.   Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. The five-semester program is approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.  The average annual RN salary in Kentucky is over $59,000.

Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic students learn to provide pre-hospital emergency care to acutely ill or injured patients, with an average salary in Kentucky of $42,000 a year. A certificate and an Associate in Applied Science Degree are offered, and graduates are eligible to take the National Registry Examination. This year, the Paramedic Program was accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Students must be EMTs before beginning the program.

Pharmacy Technology students learn to perform technical functions under the direction of a Registered Pharmacist.  A one-year diploma program and a Community Pharmacy Assistant Certificate are available. Pharmacy Technology offers a quick path into health care employment and can sometimes be the first step in becoming a pharmacist. Jobs for Pharmacy Technicians in Kentucky are expected to grow 33% from 2010 to 2020 according to KY Occupational Outlook, and the average salary in Kentucky is $25,000 a year.  

Practical Nursing is a three-semester diploma program that prepares graduates to take the national exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Students learn to perform as entry-level bedside nurse caring for acutely and chronically ill patients under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician.  This program is accredited by the Kentucky Board of Nursing, and the average LPN salary in Kentucky is over $37,000 a year.

Respiratory Care-Advanced Level is an AAS Degree consortium program with Morehead State University and Maysville Community and Technical College’s Rowan Campus.  Graduates are eligible to take the national Certified Respiratory Therapist board exam.  The program prepares graduates to help clients with chronic breathing problems or provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, stroke, drowning or shock.  The associate degree program prepared graduates for the national board exam.  The average Kentucky salary for Respiratory Therapists is $45,000 a year.

 The Surgical Technology program prepares students for the national certification exam and employment in operating rooms, private or public hospitals and clinics.  The three-semester diploma program at the College Drive Campus includes basic sciences, surgical decorum and protocol, and technical skills for assisting surgeons in the operating room. Students learn on real operating room equipment, with hundreds of surgical instruments.  The program is accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education, and the average annual salary in Kentucky for Surgical Technologists is nearly $37,000.