FORT CAVAZOS, Texas – The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center clinical education departments resumed a partnership with the Killeen and Copperas Cove local school districts’ healthcare programs Oct. 26 here.
The Central Texas Education Health Science Department at Copperas Cove High School, Killeen Independent School District and CRDMAC finalized an affiliation agreement earlier this year that allows practicum students to participate in clinical internships and shadow the main hospital departments and outlying clinics to include the pharmacy.
Brenda Ploof, hospital education coordinator, CRDAMC, and Jenni Carbone-Williams, certified nursing assistant health and science instructor, CCHS, in processed 16 CC health department students recently and the students will begin shadowing CRDAMC staff Nov. 2.
Up to 34 students from CCISD are expected to in process and begin the program by January 2024 and KISD will follow later in 2024.
The agreement affords the students the experience they need to be more successful in entry level certifications offered within the health care industry to include certified nursing aides, clinical medical assistants, pharmacy, patient care, phlebotomy and EKG technicians, Ploof said.
Carbone-Williams has worked at CCHS for more than seven years and helped the students during the agreement prior to COVID-19 and recently with getting the program started again.
“This program is a double-block program, so it’s two hours in the classroom,” Carbone-Williams said. “The students do hospital rotations their first semester and in their second semester they are embedded into the certified nursing assistant program, so by the time they graduate they are certified in the industry and can go out into the community and get a job working in the local area.”
The U.S. and Texas continues to experience professional healthcare shortages, and CRDAMC along with the local ISDs feel this is a great way to support the local community and help fill the void of healthcare workers, Carbone-Williams added.
Individuals interested in employment at CRDAMC can view open positions and apply on USAjobs.gov or visit our website at darnall.tricare.mil/About-Us/Careers for more information.