Helping Hands: the Life Science, Allied Health and Public Safety Division

EMT trainees in a lab.
Rebecca A. Eckland

Even though we’ve been operating remotely, there’s been big changes happening at TMCC this summer. When TMCC added a new academic division, Math and Physical Sciences, this impacted other areas of the college, too.  Two weeks ago, we ran a news story on what you can expect from this new division. This week, we’re taking a closer look at the Life Sciences, Allied Health and Public Safety Division, asking the question: how can this large division offer you multiple opportunities to get into a new career...quickly? 

In a nutshell: TMCC still has a lot to offer, no matter what kind of student you are: a new student who is starting on their professional journey or a returning student who is looking to change careers. 

TMCC’s Life Sciences, Allied Health and Public Safety Division is under the direction of Dean Julie Ellsworth. While housing one of TMCC’s largest academic departments, Biology and Community Health Sciences, this division spans three large TMCC academic areas that can offer students certificate and training opportunities to begin working right away in competitive, sustainable careers. 

The Dental Assisting Program Offers Short-Term Certificate  

The Dental Assisting Program is a ten-month program that offers entry online in the Fall semester, with opportunities to earn a Dental Assisting Certificate of Achievement,  Sterilization Tech Certificate of Completion, and an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Assisting in addition to courses in entry-level dental assisting. 

“This program offers stepping stones to get certifications you need as students work their way through the degree program,” said Ellsworth. “And a large number of these classes are offered online, so they can be done while a student is working another job.”  

The program, Ellsworth said, offers a wonderful opportunity to become workforce-ready, which could be especially appealing for displayed workers.

Become a Certified Nursing Assistant in One Semester

If you love the idea of helping others and want to pursue a career in the medical profession, TMCC’s Certified Nursing Assistant Program (CNA) might be right up your alley.  Students who complete NURS 130—the single-semester class requirement to become a CNA—are eligible to be an entry-level nursing assistant in nursing homes and hospitals. 

“This could be a workforce possibility even if you are in high school,” said Ellsworth, who cited the little-known fact that students as young as 16 can take the course and begin their career in the medical profession—granted, if they are trained in CPR and current on their immunizations. Within as little as 7 weeks or as long as 15 weeks (one academic semester) students can complete the certification program and begin working as a professional CNA at a local hospital or nursing home.

For all students—no matter their age—the CNA also provides a gateway to other competitive-entry allied health programs that require that you complete the CNA certification prior to seeking admission. 

Opportunities in Public Safety

If you are interested in working in the field of hands-on public service, TMCC’s Department of Public Safety has an array of training, certificate and degree programs that can get your foot in the door of a career that, let’s face it, is vitally important. Basic CPR classes are offered through TMCC’s Department of Public Safety and are integral training for those who want to work in a Child Care facility or even as a freelance babysitter. Or, once you obtain a CPR certification, you meet the prerequisite requirements of many of the programs in this department. 

For example, a CPR certification is a requirement of the Emergency Medical Services program certifications (EMT and EMT-Advanced). These two “stackable” credentials serve as a prerequisite for TMCC’s Paramedic Program, a 12-month continuous program that enables participating students to become an Emergency Medical Technician or a Paramedic-EMPT. 

While only offered in the Spring, this department also offers a Wildland Fire Training Program for those who are interested in joining local or regional firefighting crews during the fire season. The Wildland Fire Training Program at TMCC offers National Wildfire Coordination Group (NWCG) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) classes that will meet or exceed the agency requirements and standards. 

So, if you’re interested in helping people in a truly hands-on way, TMCC’s Allied Health, Life Science and Public Safety Division has several options that can get you doing exactly that. Additionally, these programs are designed with the working student in mind; classes are offered online or are offered outside of normal business hours. 

For more information about a program within the Life Sciences, Allied Health and Public Safety Division, contact the department directly.