Columbus business combats unemployment issue

Published 4:50 pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

Darla Kleiner explains the “order of draw” to students learning about phlebotomy. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

“One woman came to us because a new company bought the office she worked for and if she didn’t learn the software program she wouldn’t be able to teach the staff,” Darla said. “Without that knowledge, she knew she could lose her job.”

She said one example is the increased requirement within hospitals for CNAs to be able to read EKG machines. She said a number of CNAs with jobs at St. Luke’s and Rutherford Regional have come to them needing to learn how to read those machines.

“I wouldn’t have been able to keep my job without getting their help to get certain certifications,” said former student Kathy McLean, who works for a doctor’s office in Columbus.

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Darla has a PhD in health education and, along with Michael, is a certified health instructor. The two work to certify individuals as medical administrative assistants, clinical medical assistants, phlebotomy techs, EKG techs, surgical techs, medical lab assistants, patient care techs, electronic health record specialists, billing and coding specialists and in CPR.

Former student, Dianne Jones, said she appreciated the Kleiners’ willingness to quickly help her out of a tight recertification deadline.

“Darla sat down with me and found out what I needed. The great thing was she didn’t tell me, ‘Ok, come back in a week; she sat down right then and started working with me,’” Jones said. “We had my recertification taken care of in plenty of time. Her help relieved a lot of stress for me.”

WNC Edutech teaches students how to administer shots, draw blood, take a urinalysis or process a pregnancy test, among other tasks. Darla said all of the equipment used in training is the same equipment used in surrounding doctors’ offices because those same offices are often the ones donating things like syringes, eye exam charts and EKG machines.

Most courses provided at Edutech last 10 weeks and will certify someone under any of the three main certifying bodies – the AMT (American Medical Technologists), AMCA (American Medical Certification Association) or NHA (National Healthcareer Association).

The Kleiners have even trained PhD and master-level researchers on how to do things like draw blood so they can more efficiently complete clinic trials.

Michael, meanwhile, makes sure no student completes training with Edutech without understanding basic computer software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, how to send professional emails and create a resume with his or her updated certifications.

“We have a lot of people that are reentering the workforce who aren’t computer literate and need that training to then train their own staff or keep up with technology,” Michael said. “When you are going to work in a professional medical environment, we try and make sure you are prepared for the challenge of being versatile and not only being able to take someone’s blood but being able to enter information into a spreadsheet if needed.”

The Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce will help WNC Edutech celebrate the opening of its new location during an open house and ribbon cutting today, Friday, Feb. 1 from 4-6 p.m. The office is located in the Columbus Professional building behind Mountain View BBQ in Columbus.