Get involved with island healthcare by becoming a nurse - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Get involved with island healthcare by becoming a nurse

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Earlier this month KUAM ran a story on the shortage of healthcare professionals on Guam. As Nursing Month comes to a close, we want to tell you one way you can enter this growing profession.

Tucked away on the 6th floor of the GCIC Building in Hagatna is a small company many in the community may not have heard about. Yet the Guam Marianas Training Center has been operating since the early 2000s, and has certified hundreds of healthcare professionals. President Fe Valencia-Ovalles said, "The Guam Marianas Training Center is the first Allied Health privately-owned, private institution that offers Allied Health classes with US certification."

The most popular programs offered at the center include the Certified Nursing Assistant Program, Certified Phlebotomy Technician Program, Certified Pharmacy Technician Program, and Certified Medical Billing and Coding Program. Ovalles said students can take these certifications almost anywhere, adding, "Being portable certification really helps a lot of our students, especially the military community, to just be able to take that certification after the training and go anywhere in the United States. As a matter of fact, anywhere in the world where there are US hospitals."

In order to apply, students must be at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma. "It's one of those easy courses because the time frame involved is just really short," Ovalles noted.

The Nursing Assistant Program, for example, can take up to four months to complete, and costs roughly $2,800. However, AHRD does provide tuition assistance to qualified individuals.

"For those people that don't qualify under those assistant, and are self-paying, yes we do have some very good payment arrangements or payment plans," she continued.

Ovalles said she loves her job because she has seen it transform people's lives in a matter of months, many going from struggling to find work, to starting a growing and fulfilling career. "We really take pride and enjoyment in what we do here in our school," he said.

For more information on these programs you can call 475-4682.
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