Riverland hosts Healthcare Career and Exploration Day in Austin

Published 9:15 am Friday, May 22, 2015

AUSTIN — Tina Jibi screamed in delight after she extinguished a fire Thursday afternoon at Riverland Community College in the Fire and EMS Center during the Healthcare Career and Exploration Day.

“It feels great,” she said. “I’m more comfortable now and think that I could handle a fire at home or anywhere else now that I had a hands on exercise.”

Thursday’s fire and EMS demonstration was part of Riverland’s Healthcare Career Exploration Day, which showcased some of the things health care providers are capable of doing and helping people get a sense of the different careers they could go into. There was also a short class about the fire program and other Riverland programs.

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“It’s going to help me to choose a path, because I’m already in the medical field,” Jibi said.

She is currently in a CNA program at Riverland and should have her certification for CNA and home health care by July. She plans to continue and get her LPN.

“So this is just kind of like a help to figure out some areas where I need to be, where my passion is,” Jibi said. “Because they all pretty much fall in the same category, helping services and helping people in the community.”

Brian and Wanda Staska, fire and EMS program managers, led the courses about the fire and EMS programs on Thursday. They taught the introductory class with hands-on activities, such as practicing pulling a person out of a car crash and using a fire extinguisher on a small fire.

“Today we did the fire and EMS side, and because the two work so closely together we wanted to incorporate both of them, to get (the participants) interested in not only a possible fire career, but also an emergency medical first responder, an emergency medical technician, and even paramedic, and those are often gateways to nursing,” Brian said.

The event was sponsored by Workforce Development, which drew many people who worked with the program, but it was open to everyone. Wanda hopes the participants got a sense of what the careers were about and if they might want to make them a career.

“That they are good careers to get into whether they’re going to do it for a paid professions or whether they’re going to do it as a volunteer to help out their community,” she said. “They’re important positions.”

Other classes included in the event were radiography, nursing assistant/nursing, medical assistant/phlebotomy, fire/EMS, respiratory therapy, massage therapy, forensic biology, health unit coordinator and dental hygienist/assistant.