The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

February 23, 2013

Medical calling

Health care classes are abundant, popular among students at Autry Technology Center

ENID, Okla. — Autry Technology Center offers a plethora of studies designed to launch students into the health care field.


Students can train to become licensed practical nurses and, if they choose, continue studies at Northern Oklahoma College for registered nurse certification and then go to Northwestern Oklahoma State University to obtain a bachelor of science in nursing.

But nursing is far from the only health care training at Autry.

The list of full-time courses includes dental assistant, health careers, medical administrative, medical assistant, respiratory care, surgical technology, radiography, MRI.

Dental assisting

Traci Gosney, dental assisting instructor, said the dental assisting program is 10 months. Students learn about fillings, x-rays, receptionist duties, alginate impressions, orthodontics and temporary crowns.

“It’s a lot of hands-on learning, to learn what they need to know to work with the dentist,” Gosney said.

“After spring break, the students have the opportunity to go out and get supervised work experience,” said Melissa Jenlink, marketing director for Autry.

“They actually get to work with the doctors,” Gosney said. “We get a lot of employment from doing that.”

Demand for the dental assisting program has caused it to grow from an afternoon-only program last year to a program with one set of morning students and another set of afternoon students. There are 30 currently enrolled in the program.

Business information

Tera Davis, business information technology instructor, teaches courses in the medical administration program.

“I teach the front office skills,” Davis said.

Her students learn about answering phones, customer service, scheduling appointments, billing, coding, insurance and transcription.

The 40 students enrolled in the program can take classes for half a day or a full day. It takes about 2 years to complete the program if they study half days, Davis said.

Surgical technology

Kim McFarland, surgical technology instructor, said students learn a full array of techniques to assist in the operating room.

“We teach our students to pull their cases, set up a sterile field, learn the procedure so they can pass instruments and learn patient care,” she said. “They learn about laparoscopic procedures. We really learn all the specialties — neuro, ob/gyn, orthopedic. My students are very well-rounded.”

Autry has agreements with with St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Integris Bass Baptist Health Center and Ponca City Medical Center for clinical experiences for surgical technology.

Enrollment in surgical technology and respiratory care are limited, and students are screened before being admitted.

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Progress 2013
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