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Train for Careers in Health Care
At MCCC's Center for Continuing Studies


West Windsor, N.J. - Despite current economic woes, the healthcare industry remains a good destination for job seekers. This winter, Mercer County Community College's Center for Continuing Studies offers numerous options for training in the health fields. Classes are held on Mercer's West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. Most classes are offered in the evenings and on weekends to provide flexible scheduling for adult students. Community members are invited to an information session on January 5 at 6 p.m. to learn more about the center's career programs.

The center's Drug Development and Clinical Research Certificate Program enables students who already have bachelor's degrees in the sciences to prepare for employment in the field of pharmaceutical research. Students must complete three courses to earn their certificate. The program starts with "Foundations of Clinical Research and Study Design," which includes nine classes from Jan. 26-Mar. 9, to be followed later in the spring with "Data Management" and "Regulatory and Legal Issues in Drug Development." An information session about this unique program takes place Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the MCCC Conference Center.

According to Carol Clark, director of continuing studies, pharmacy industry professionals are enthused about the program and serve on a task force that oversees and suggests course content. "As a leader in the pharmaceutical field, New Jersey is well positioned, both in terms of the expert instructors we are able to access and the prospects for jobs for those who complete the program," Clark said.

Elective courses may be taken on an individual basis. "Clinical Research Coordinator/Clinical Research Associate" (CRC/CRA) will be offered Mar. 16-Apr. 16. A new course, "Privacy and Data Protection for Healthcare and Pharma," on Mar. 12 and 19, will provide an overview of privacy concepts, the global privacy landscape, U.S. privacy laws, and their impact on business, compliance and risks, data protection principles and enforcement.

Now, through a new articulation agreement, students who complete the program may earn up to nine credits in the Clinical Research Organization and Management master's degree program at Drexel University's College of Medicine. An additional three credits will be awarded to those who complete the CRC/CRA program.

Among the center's other options in the health care field is "Certified Nurse Aide" (CNA) from Apr. 30-Aug. 13. (Students may download information and an application here.) For those who have their CNA, a certification program to become a "Home Health Aide" (HHA) is offered Apr. 2-9. Also for CNAs and HHAs is the new "Certified Medication Aide for CNA's and HHA's" from Mar. 4- May 13.

In a field where job prospects continue to be good, the center's Pharmacy Technician Certificate program (Jan. 12- May 7) provides training for employment in retail pharmacies, hospitals, assisted living facilities and pharmaceutical companies. It includes a broad spectrum of critical topics including pharmacy law and ethics, billing and insurance practices, terminology, drug dosages and calculations, and therapeutic response to medication. Current pharmacy technicians and qualified students are eligible to take Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam Prep from Mar. 17-31 to review material for the national exam that will soon be required.

Offered as part of the Medical Billing/Coding Specialist Certificate program is a new elective, "Medical Billing: Fraud and Audits" from April 8-29. Medical billing professionals will learn about state and federal laws pertaining to record retention, fraud, and documentation standards to help protect themselves and their employers.

Other popular health-related programs include Certificate in Gerontology (Feb. 21-Apr. 16); Preparation for Dental Radiologic Technologists (Mar. 9 - June 15); Introduction to Phlebotomy (Feb. 24 - May 12); and EKG Technician Certification (Feb 28-Apr 25).

Many courses may be taken on an individual basis. For more information, contact the MCCC Center for Continuing Studies at (609) 570-3311, by email at ComEd@mccc.edu, or by visiting the website here.


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