Vanessa Bailey, Allied Health instructor at New River Community and Technical College, recently attended West Virginia Rural Health Workforce Day at the Capitol in Charleston, with students in the Medical Assisting program.
Bailey, a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, also is a board member of the West Virginia Rural Health Association. She and her students set up a table at the Capitol and interacted with lawmakers in session about the importance of health care in the state.
Bailey, a resident of Frankford, teaches at the Greenbrier Valley Campus of New River CTC.
“I really see the need to reach out to these rural areas. It’s very difficult to keep our workforce in West Virginia. A lot of young people want to leave,” Bailey said.
“We want to keep and increase the number of health care professionals so that there is accessibility – no matter where you live, you can get the health care you need.”
New River CTC has added the Associate of Applied Science, Technical Studies Degree program in Health Information Technology, which prepares a student for a career in health information management. Job responsibilities typically include: maintaining, compiling, analyzing and evaluating health data, controlling the use and release of health information, and supervising staff. Employment opportunities exist in hospitals, outpatient and ambulatory care facilities, physicians’ offices, nursing homes and other long term care facilities, health insurance groups and companies, as well as local, state and federal health agencies.
New River CTC also has a two-year program in Medical Assisting that prepares students to work in a variety of health care settings. Functions vary from facility to facility, but generally incorporate a mix of clinical and administrative responsibilities. Duties may include: direct patient care services, assisting with invasive and noninvasive procedures, administration of medications, medical record management, coding, billing, office, and staff management. As a specific feature of the program, students complete extensive externships in physicians’ offices, clinics, hospitals, and related health care facilities.
“My work with Allied Health students provides a great opportunity to promote the virtues of working in a rural health setting. In many instances, students begin their health careers with a two-year program, work for a couple of years, and then return to school for additional credentialing or a four-year health degree. I am very happy to be a part of their journey,” Bailey said.
Attending events such as the Rural Health Workforce Day encourages students to become engaged and try to improve the state rather than leaving their rural communities, Bailey said.
“There are people out there working to make things better,” she said. “Too often people get in their own little bubbles and don’t realize that there are people working behind the scenes every day to make rural health care available.”
If interested in learning more about the health care profession, contact Vanessa Bailey at 304-793-3003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.