By Bob Fowler,Â Roane State staff writer
When it comes to the burgeoning health care field, there are plenty of jobs out there.
That became obvious to some 200 Roane State students on the verge of graduating who took advantage of the collegeâ€™s annual Healthcare Job Fair, held March 29 at the Roane State campus in Oak Ridge.
â€œThere are a lot of potential job openings,â€ said Trista Murrell, set to graduate from the collegeâ€™s physical therapist assistant program in August. She was handing out resumes to prospective employers and, she said, â€œeveryone has been very helpful.â€
Some 50 companies and institutions set up displays in the atrium and hallways of the collegeâ€™s Coffey-McNally Building.
Employers included hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, health care recruiting firms, and companies involved in medical record-keeping. Even representatives of the Army and the stateâ€™s prison system had displays. Prison nurses start out at $26.50 an hour, a spokeswoman said.
Thereâ€™s always a need for nurses in the Covenant Health network, said social media recruiter Liz Floyd. Covenant operates 10 medical centers in the region and is East Tennesseeâ€™s largest healthcare system, she said. â€œWeâ€™re absolutely looking for new Roane State grads, especially RNs,â€ she said.
One Roane State student about to graduate in May, Cassidy Harvey, said sheâ€™s already landed a job at Blount Memorial Hospitalâ€™s radiology department but was at the job fair studying other options.
â€œIt was a lot of hard work,â€ she said of her Roane State studies, â€œbut itâ€™s been worth it.â€
Kim Harris, director of Workforce Training and Placement at Roane State, has organized the job fair for years. No other educational institution in the area offers a similar event, she said, and local healthcare employers â€œknow about it and look for it.â€
The job fair was a homecoming of sorts for one healthcare employee. Cynthia Plemens, development coordinator for the Michael Dunn Center, graduated from Roane State 18 months ago at age 50.
Entering the college at her age was very intimidating, she admitted. She said she was quickly welcomed and â€œreally embracedâ€ by the faculty and staff.
â€œI really thrived here,â€ she said of Roane State. â€œHad I not gone to Roane State and obtained a degree, I would not be in the position Iâ€™m in now.â€
The Michael Dunn Center provides a variety of services to hundreds of clients with developmental disabilities, and job categories there range from nursing to physical therapy.
For more information about Roane State job placement, contact Kim Harris at (865) 882-4695 or at [email protected].
This story and photo were submitted by Owen Driskill.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2017 Oak Ridge Today.Â All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.