two people in masks
Nurse Aide II Spring graduates (left to right) Joyce Ward and Akida Spencer. Not pictured: Tracee Baxton and Cortyne Woolard.

Certified nurse aides & healthcare techs graduate

Certified nurse aides and healthcare technicians have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The Beaufort County Community College honored students from the nurse aide I, nurse aide II, phlebotomy and registered medical assistant programs who achieved their certificates in 2020. The Continuing Education Division honored graduates of spring, summer and fall healthcare programs in small individual ceremonies. These healthcare tech classes are all now free thanks to a combination of scholarships and state funding.

The latest classes to get certified experienced a different setting than their predecessors. North Carolina allowed nurse aide I and phlebotomy students to complete all their training in simulated settings in order to make nursing homes and clinics–and students–safer. Despite these new training protocols, students left the programs feeling ready to take on their new duties. Nurse aide II and registered medical assistant students were still expected to complete their training in clinical settings.

“I tell them to listen to their inner voice, and stop to listen to what your patients need,” said Jackie Butcher, director of healthcare programs for the Continuing Education Division.

Graduates of the nurse aide programs can provide personal care and perform basic nursing skills for elderly adults. Phlebotomy students learn to draw blood. Registered medical assistants can work in locations that require coding and clerical work, along with basic nursing skills.

Students participate in clinical internships as part of the program in locations such as Agape Community Health Center in Washington, Vidant Beaufort Hospital in Washington or Vidant Multispecialty Clinic in Belhaven.

For many of the students, these classes will give them credentials to start working in the healthcare field while pursuing additional certifications or a nursing degree. Some of them are adding additional credentials onto existing certifications.

Twenty-six students finished the nurse aide I program, six completed the nurse aide II program, nine completed the phlebotomy program, and five completed the registered medical assistant program.

Meredith Hernandez Espinoza, Amber Alligood, Magaly Lugo-Gonzalez, Sierra Sanderson, John Woolard, Courtney Zimmerman, Kiersten Zimmerman, Autumn Andrews, Victoria Reyes, Jaidah Watson, Lindsay Swain, Tiasia Andrews, Taylor Hood, Colleen Jarman, Haide Mendoza-Ramirez, Marjorie Popov, Hanna Wells, Da'zha Harvey, Julissa Chavez, Zenika Moore, Irene Biggs, Joycelyn Cabarrus, Destiny Gettys, Kimberly Machado, Amy Smith, and Ketoura Wooden all graduated from the nurse aide I class.

Joyce Ward, Akida Spencer, Tracee Baxton, Cortyne Woolard, Kelly Elks and Autumn Andrews all finished the nurse aide II class. Autumn Andrews earned both NA I and II certifications in 2020.

Graduates from the phlebotomy program included Tina Slade, Shelby Dickens, Zoe Slade, Shelly Ross, Victoria Gibbs, Lee Stamper, Lacey Atwood, Juanisha Gibbs and Daijah Maurizzio.

The registered medical assistant graduates were Vontasia Collins, Tenisha Washington, Megan Scherer, Mary Best and Madeleine Mazie.

The next programs will start in January. All of these classes are free to qualifying students due to grant and scholarship funding. For more information about BCCC’s healthcare technician programs, interested persons should contact Jackie Butcher, 252-940-6263.