Certified and prepared

Medical Magnet seniors are gaining advantage of the health field early.


Sara Zarb

Medical magnet students shadowing at Mease Countryside OR

Sara Zarb, Staff Reporter

Above-average and above-minimum-wage jobs are what Palm Harbor University’s medical magnet students can achieve towards the end of their senior year. The 2017 certification classes consists of EKG Technician (CET), Nursing Assistant (CNA), and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA).

CET’s, CNA’s, and CMAA’s salaries are roughly $30,000. A CET monitors and tests a patient’s cardiovascular performance.

“A CET prepares the students to recognize various dysrhythmias, cardiac disorders, and perform EKGs and procedures such as EKG stress tests and Holter monitors,” Sharon Ungs, CET and Health Science II teacher, said. “It [EKG certification] is a foundation of various medical careers and is a very marketable profession.”

A CNA provides support and works under the supervision of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs), and a CMAA performs clerical work in doctors’ and hospital offices.

Far from the salary, however, these certification classes could potentially pave a future career path for students. An EKG Technician is the precursor for any cardiovascular job, such as a cardiologist technician or a cardiologist.

“EKG class has been very helpful and has satisfied my thirst for knowledge because I’m very interested in this subject,” Devin Sosa, a senior in the medical program, said. “Having this background will help me with what I want to study in college, pre-med and eventually cardiology. I can also use this EKG certification in college to help pay for tuition.”

A CNA background precedes working as an LPN, RN, or even a Nurse Practitioner (NP).

“I don’t know if I want to do something with CNA, but I can definitely use my background as a stepping stone to working in the medical field, preferably with kids,” Jessie Ngo, a senior in the medical program, said.

A CMAA background can be useful for any job that requires organization skills.

“It [CMAA] promotes self-discipline, organization, and teaches them real life skills,” Maggie Miller, CMAA and Allied Health teacher, said.

Certification exams for 2017 graduates begin mid-April for CMAA, late-April for EKG, and early-May for CNA.