chemeketa students

Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hemodialysis technician program starts at Chemeketa

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Hemodialysis at Chemeketa

They’re all lined up in a row in a lab room in Building 2 of Chemeketa Community College’s Yamhill Valley campus. A line of Fresenius 2008K hemodialysis machines – machines no college in the state of Oregon trained students to operate.

Until now, that is.

Chemeketa’s inaugural class of hemodialysis technician students began their studies this winter term. And for students and faculty alike, it’s an exciting new experience.

For student Ginger Kazemier, hemodialysis offered the opportunity for much more personal patient care. Going into nursing often means it could be months or years before you see the same patient twice. That’s not the case in dialysis, she said.

“These patients come in and see you three times a week,” Kazemier said. “So you get to know them personally – their life history, their family.”

Like other forms of dialysis, hemodialysis is a treatment to remove excess wastes and water from patients suffering from kidney failure. In hemodialysis, blood is taken from the body and run through a machine, where wastes are removed from the blood

The origins of Chemeketa’s hemodialysis technician program go back several years, said Holly Nelson, associate dean of the Yamhill Valley campus. A member of the nursing faculty had a background in dialysis and said there was a need for dialysis technician training. In fact, there were no technician training programs in the state of Oregon; all of the training was being done on the job.

“The closest program was in Tacoma, Washington,” Nelson said. “And very rarely did students come to our area to help fill the workforce need.”

The program would begin with 24 student slots. The spots filled on the first day applications were accepted, Nelson said.

John Ruiz is a hemodialysis tech student after receiving his GED from Chemeketa. Nelson encouraged him to try the program, he said.

“I wasn’t too sure at the time, but as I progressed, I decided that it would be something to get into,” Ruiz said. “A stable career for my family, a future. Something that I could actually have a future for.”

Hemodialysis technician students can see the need for their job by looking out a classroom: Both DaVita and Fresenius, two of the primary dialysis care providers in the state of Oregon, have clinics within 200 yards of the Yamhill Valley campus. Dialysis is primarily done in these clinics as opposed to hospitals. Both companies are involved in the program’s advisory committee and a clinic manager, a Chemeketa nursing graduate, is one of the program’s part-time faculty.

Student Athena Laquerre has a dialysis nurse in the family, so she was excited to find out Chemeketa was offering a program after taking a CPR class. Being in the program has broadened her excitement about hemodialysis beyond the patient care aspect.

“I’m not only interested in helping people feel better, but I like the biomechanical setup of it,” Laquerre said. “It’s fascinating how they do it.”

Beyond hemodialysis, the program is designed as a health career pathway program, with some courses filling prerequisites for a nursing degree. Nelson said the program is set up to run during the winter, spring and summer terms to allow students to use the fall term to do prerequisites or start the nursing program in fall after completing the hemodialysis technician program.

For more information on Chemeketa’s hemodialysis technician program, visit the hemodialysis technician section of Chemeketa’s website.

Verizon Connect Center begins at Chemeketa

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Verizon Connect Center Boys & Girls Club at Chemeketa opensWhat started with some soccer on the weekends has now become a pilot project on Chemeketa Community College’s Salem campus with the potential to reach hundreds of Salem school-aged students and give them special exposure to technology and college life.

Two modular classrooms have been converted into the Verizon Connect Center Boys & Girls Club, a new branch of the national Boys & Girls Club that focuses on communication career fields.

The Verizon Connect Center will have a special ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 pm on Feb. 1, at the center (Building 62 on the Salem campus off Fire Protection Way). Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes will be among the attendees. Guests can follow direction signs to the Red parking lot.

“It’s not unprecedented, but it’s very rare for a Boys & Girls Club to be on a college campus,” said Greg Harris, Chemeketa’s dean of marketing.

The ability to be on a college campus will be huge for the students attending the Connect Center, said Sue Bloom, director of operations for the Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion & Polk Counties.

“For any child to be a middle schooler and say, ‘yeah, I go to the college every day’ gives them a lot of inner confidence that college is a possibility and a true option for them,” Bloom said.

Harris said the origins of the Verizon Connect Center go back to a vision of Chemeketa’s athletic department, specifically men’s soccer coach Marty Limbird. Limbird had been organizing weekend youth soccer activities on campus, which highlighted that Chemeketa’s facilities could become of greater use to youth in the area.

That lead to meetings last summer involving Chemeketa, the Boys and Girls Club and other community organizations.

“We agreed that what we needed was a pilot project,” Harris said.

The Boys and Girls Club successfully received a grant from the Verizon Foundation for the pilot project.

Other community organizations are involved as well. The YMCA is providing transportation for youth and a staff member. Salem-Keizer School District is reviewing the center’s curriculum to ensure it meets Oregon’s learning standards. Marion Polk Food Share will be providing learning opportunities related to their areas of expertise.

The Verizon Connect Center officially started on Jan. 12. The center will have 40 students undertake a intensive five-month curriculum focused on communication-based careers such as journalism, broadcasting and digital media. The students are from schools near the Chemeketa campus – Swegle Elementary, Lamb Elementary, Stephens Middle School and Waldo Middle School.

Students will develop several projects during their curriculum, and will also have access to Chemeketa resources such as the library, television studio, athletic fields and other facilities. Chemeketa faculty, staff and students will provide expertise and mentoring.

The results of the project will be documented in order to provide information on its successes to potential future donors, Harris said.

Bloom described the ultimate goal as building a “thrive center” on the campus that will bring together community organizations to intervene in the lives of at-risk youth and their families.

“We’re that first piece,” Bloom said. “We’re that first cog in the wheel.”

Add/Drop deadline extended to Monday, Jan. 23

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Add/drop deadline extendedBecause of the closure of all Chemeketa Community College locations on Friday, Jan. 20, due to flooding in the Mid-Willamette Valley, the deadline to add/drop a class and receive a refund or credit has been extended.

Students now have until 5 pm Monday, Jan. 23 to add or drop a class and receive a refund or credit.