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Harris County
Free Skilled Medical Classes at Harris County Department of Education Supply Building-Block Approach to Medical Careers
News Release
Monday, June 25, 2018

Before enrolling in free GED and medical classes at Harris County Department of Education, student Deysi Gonzalez admits to watching too much TV in her free time.

“I saw a sign that said free GED classes, so I enrolled,” she said.

Within the month, she earned her GED. Twelve weeks later, she became a certified nursing assistant, or CNA, and began working in a nursing home. In a matter of six months, she will increase her hourly earnings by getting her phlebotomist certification, the profession of drawing and collecting blood samples from patients. She also plans to take the EKG class at HCDE. The resulting hourly salary range will be from $17-$21, plus benefits.

Through a series of workforce training classes at HCDE’s Adult Education, Gonzalez is growing her medical skills and earning capabilities. The programs made available through HCDE and the Texas Workforce Commission allow students to gain academic and workforce skills at the same time.

In phlebotomy classes, adult basic education teacher Rochelle Bell supports the academic end, providing help with math and language skills and assisting students with memorization and review methodologies.    

Phlebotomy teacher Netta Trahan brings 30 years of drawing blood to the classroom. She provides the clinical expertise to students.

Sticking someone with a needle was a tough go the first time for student Jennifer Ortiz.  With no pun intended, Ortiz “stuck with it” and earned the reputation as the no. 1 phlebotomist in her class. Her goal is to work in a hospital setting.

The class provides techniques to blood drawing, equipment preparation and instruction on customer service techniques that help make patients comfortable. During the first day of class, students get hands-on experience by drawing blood from one another.

“If you face fear and get it out of the way, you can be a beast,” said Trahan of allaying her students’ fears.

Bell believes the building-block approach to gaining medical skills like drawing blood or performing an EKG makes sense.

“In today’s world, everybody is not made for college, so it gives students a chance to test out things,” she said. “You get hands-on training, and it’s paid for.”

For information about phlebotomy or other medical workforce, GED or English as a second language classes at Harris County Department of Education, go to www.hcde-texas.org/adulteducation or call 713-692-6216.  

Photo: Harris County Department of Education adult learner Deysi Gonzalez prepares for the stick from fellow phlebotomy students.


About Harris County Department of Education:  HCDE provides special education, therapy services, early education, adult education and after-school programming. Services are funded by government grants, fees and a local property tax rate of $.005195. For every dollar in local property tax collected, HCDE provides $4.40 in services to the 25 Harris County school districts. HCDE also operates four campuses for students with profound special education needs and adjudicated youth who require a low student-teacher ratio and highly structured environment. One-hundred percent of students served on HCDE campuses are at-risk. The organization is governed by an elected board of seven trustees and has 1,060 employees and 33 facilities, including 15 Head Start centers. More info at
http://www.hcde-texas.org .




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