Southern Careers Institute Recognizes Recent Allied Health Program Graduates on the Front Lines of COVID-19

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National Allied Health Week takes place next week from November 1 to 7

Austin, TX – Healthcare workers on the front lines are at higher risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, yet the pandemic is not stopping Southern Careers Institute (SCI) allied health graduates from joining the health workforce. More than 1,300 students have graduated from Southern Careers Institute’s allied health programs between March and October of this year*, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Most importantly, many of these recent graduates are now working to assist with today’s health challenges.

“Vocational technical education is vital to the medical field. Students in programs like those offered by SCI are gaining valuable experience that enables them to make an immediate impact, through externships, hands-on training, and virtual training from industry professionals,” said Nikki England, President of SCI. “This has been especially important this year, due to the pandemic. And, from a worker’s point of view, these types of jobs are largely recession-proof, offering job stability in a time when that is extremely rare.”

SCI offers medical assistant, medical billing and coding, medical office specialist, nurse aide, and pharmacy technician programs, with the eligibility to test for more than 20 nationally recognized certifications.

Blanca Lopez, a recent graduate from the medical assistant program at SCI’s Austin campus, is one of the more than five million allied health care professionals in the United States, representing approximately 60 percent of all health care providers, who will be celebrated as part of National Allied Health Week from November 1-7. These professionals play a critical role in managing the operations of our health care systems, acting as frontline

workers who provide diagnostic evaluation, help treat diseases and disorders, conduct rehabilitation services, and manage other critical systems.

Blanca is currently working as a COVID-19 screener. SCI afforded her the opportunity to become certified while also maintaining a full-time job. She says, “SCI gave me the flexibility to do something greater for the health and well-being of my community while enabling me to balance my personal life. Being paid to do something you love? I consider that to be a success.”

Another recent SCI graduate, Miguel Martinez Jr., completed the pharmacy technician program at SCI’s Corpus Christi campus and participated in an externship at CVS. On his first day, because the pharmacy was short-handed, he was immediately put to work verifying prescriptions and filling in on a variety of tasks.

“I started on campus in the pharmacy program but ended up having to transition to online due to the pandemic. I went into my externship not knowing what to expect,” said Miguel. “As it turned out, the education I received gave me the confidence to jump right in and handle whatever was asked of me, and the initiative to do whatever needed to be done during this busy time.” Today, Miguel is on his way to becoming a licensed pharmacy technician, thanks to the training he received at SCI.

For more information about SCI allied health programs or to schedule interviews with staff, faculty or students please email Ana Pereira at [email protected] or Justin Shook at [email protected]

* The official reporting period for the Council on Occupational Education is 7/1-6/30 of each year.

About Southern Careers Institute

Southern Careers Institute began serving Texas students in 1960. They offer a diverse list of programs that create employment-ready students who can go on to serve their community. With eight convenient locations in Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Pharr, San Antonio NW Loop 410, San Antonio SW Military Drive, and Waco, Southern Careers Institute offers programs in:

· Business: Administrative Assistant, Business Administration, Business Accounting Specialist

· Beauty: Cosmetology Operator

· Medical: Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, Medical Office Specialist, Nurse Aide, Pharmacy Technician

· Technology: Computer Support Specialist, Software Development, Data Science, Cyber Security

· Trades: Automotive Service Technician, Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator, Electrical Technician, HVAC, Welding

SCI also offers an online and hybrid curriculum.

This article was published on: 11/2/20 11:54 AM

What SCI Students Are Saying

"Just finished school for welding. Had the best experience with Southern Careers Institute, and had a lot of fun with my buddies. Already working at SpaceX. SCI is the place to be guys! Don't wait any longer, sign up!”


Enrique H.

"I recently achieved my dream of becoming a CDL driver, passing my CDL exams at our local DMV in Edinburg. Mr. Gonzalez was such a great instructor, even though it was raining I passed with flying colors!”


Juan L.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator

“I made a complete career change when I started my training at Southern Careers Institute. I needed a stable career to continue providing for my growing family. SCI provided me with the medical terminology and know how that I needed to understand and acquire a career in the medical field. SCI taught me that it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now; you always have room to advance and learn.”


Denise S.
Medical Assistant

“I am extremely grateful for the assistance I received from SCI’s Career Services team. I enjoy where I work and what I do. SCI has helped me succeed in life by getting me the necessary education and by making me a stronger and more confident person.”


Raquel S.

“Once I graduated from SCI, I had a sense of accomplishment that helped me through the job search process. SCI provided me with the opportunity to brush up on my skills, extend my accounting knowledge, and they boosted my self-confidence. I went to work two days after my last day of school.”


Annette D.
Business Accounting

“When my youngest child graduated from high school, I told my husband that it was my time. I went back to school to change careers after spending 37 years in the business field. At SCI, the instructors are professional, and they care about what they are teaching you, as well as expect you to give 100% in return. I had problems understanding how to draw in syringes and give injections. I requested extra help from a knowledgeable instructor, and I was able to receive one-on-one training. Today, I draw injections for approximately 100 patients each week. I am very confident in what I’ve learned. SCI has given me the chance to do what I always wanted to do. Thank you for my education. I am doing wonderful.”


Bonnie M
Medical Assistant

“I am now a certified Lab Tech. SCI helped me get an externship, and I came out with a job. After my little sister had cancer, I knew I wanted a career in the medical field that allowed me to help others. I am happy about what I do.”


Sidney B
Medical Assistant

“The best place ever!! Ms.Tonia rocks she is the best teacher… I love going to school my time there is amazing.”


Andrea Garcia

“Southern Careers went beyond my expectations. Very impressed. The assistance I got from Career Services is truly amazing. They really went out of their way to get me placed. They really care and I am grateful to all of them.”


Olga C.

“Southern Careers Institute totally surpassed my expectations. Once I finished school, the Career Services team helped me find a job. I would tell anyone thinking about starting career training that you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. I wish I would have started my training sooner.”


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