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Hinds CC prepares health-care workers for the fight against COVID-19



Jeremy Evans and Beaty Hill are two of the students at Hinds preparing for careers in health care. (Photos courtesy Hinds CC)

Health-care workers on the front lines of the battle to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Mississippi and the nation can expect reinforcements from health-care programs at Hinds Community College.

Nursing and allied health programs at Hinds rate among the best in the region, with four programs earning re-accreditation last year – Associate Degree Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care Technology and Surgical Technology.

Students earning credentials this semester are joining the workforce fully prepared to partner with medical professionals to control the highly contagious respiratory syndrome. And they’re touting all the other benefits of a Hinds education.

“I chose Hinds because of its highly-rated nursing program,” said Ashlea Beatty, a Scott County native who is studying nursing at the Rankin Campus. “If you ask around the local hospitals, they eagerly hire Hinds nursing graduates. And a beneficial perk is that it is conveniently located within a reasonable driving distance for me.”

Beaty Hill, of Flowood, a nursing student at Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center, asked around after high school where she should consider training for a medical career. The choice, she said, was obvious.

“The majority of those I talked to had nothing but good things to say about Hinds and the nursing program specifically,” Hill said. “Almost every nurse that I talked to said that they would be willing to hire a nurse that came from Hinds over any other nursing student.”

All Hinds students have had to continue their coursework online since March 23. Students such as Hill and Beatty, and Jeremy Evans, a Rankin Campus student who plans to attend medical school after Hinds, say instructors and employees have helped ease the stress of finishing their respective class loads.

“The sudden switch to online classes caused a bit of discordance in all aspects of life,” Evans said. “That being said, Dean Gary Fox, Dr. Norman Session, Kathy Huff and everyone from the Honors Center in Raymond and Rankin have been the most helpful people in my journey at Hinds.”

Beatty has accepted a job on the neurology floor at St. Dominic’s Hospital after graduation and plans to continue at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and, eventually, become a nurse educator. Hill begins pursuing her bachelor’s in nursing at the end of May and starts in July a position at Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, in the pediatric care unit.

“I hope to bring competent, safe and patient-oriented care to the workplace and help in this ongoing battle,” Beatty said.

Health care is a calling, they all said, and the call to duty couldn’t be clearer given the fight to control and eventually vaccinate against the virus and COVID-19, the disease it causes.

“It takes a special person to face not only COVID-19 but the numerous other situations that health-care workers deal with every day,” Beatty said.

And the rewards of the health-care career path go beyond all the accolades they’ll carry on their academic resume’.

“We are needed more than ever right now, and I am ready to graduate into the workforce so that I can help,” Hill said. “It makes my career choice a thousand times more rewarding to help stop the spread of a pandemic.”

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