Education - Page 8 - Health care, from page 3

- Page 8
Health care, from page 3
higher level of understanding of cardiac electrophysiology. “This program is the only one of its kind in the state, and with heart disease being the No. 1 killer, there is a strong need for cardiac electrophysiology professionals,” says Bill Fisher, M.Ed., RCIS, RCES and professor and program chair of cardiovascular technology at HCC. “We noticed over the last several years those who work in cardiac catheterization labs may want to transition into the area of cardiac electrophysiology. The course was created to fulfill a need for these individuals to gain a higher level of understanding for cardiac electrophysiology concepts. The course content was developed in alignment with the registry exam.”

The course incorporates synchronous learning with students meeting in a virtual classroom with an instructor for two hours one night a week as well as asynchronous learning, which consists of reading assignments and knowledge assessments outside of class time.“When I developed the course, because of its complex nature, I wanted to establish an online teacher presence combined with best practices for online learning,” he says.

He credits the design of the program to the key for its success, with the students being able to work through the curriculum but have weekly contact with the instructor and other students, even if it is virtual. “The virtual classroom is really where the magic happens,” he says. “We’re able to instantly connect with students, which enhances the learning process. The activities promote a great deal of interactivity.” The course can be completed no matter where they live, with students enrolled on the West Coast. Students who complete the online course and other registry requirements may sit for the international registry exam to become a Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist.

Passing this exam allows for the opportunity for advancement within their institution as well as improving their marketability to other institutions. Graduates also go on to opportunities in industry, such as sales of cardiac arrhythmia devices, i.e., pacemakers.

The course has been met with great success. As soon as the course is offered it fills up, necessitating a wait list with each course enrolling fifteen students. To meet demand, HCC is hiring instructors, especially ones who are able to teach across time zones as student candidates hail as far away as Australia.

Tina Petersen, R.T.,ARRT, of Sarasota, Florida graduated in December of 2018 from the program and currently works in an electrophysiology laboratory as a radiography technologist at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. She was attracted to the course as she had worked professionally with one of the instructors, Elizabeth Tooley, and knew she would receive a good education. She credits the course with bringing together her lab work and her training, focusing it as well as helping her understand the “why” and the “how” behind electrophysiology. She is currently preparing to take the exam.

“My instructors were so helpful and colleagues were very supportive of the class,”she says. “My classmates and I worked well together in a collaborative, yet online, environment. We really supported each other in our efforts to master the coursework.”