Welcome to the Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Respiratory Care and Health Administration (CRHA) department. We offer an eclectic mix of the health care industry’s in-demand career options. This is an exciting time to be pursuing health care careers and this sector ensures some of the most promising job prospects.
The Clinical Laboratory Sciences programs includes both associate and baccalaureate degree programs. The Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program is five semesters in length and leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree. The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program is approximately nine semesters in length and leads to a Bachelor in Applied Science degree. Closely linked to these options, is our Molecular Diagnostics (MDx) program. This program is ten semesters in length and leads to a Bachelor in Applied Science degree. The Molecular Diagnostics degree program is unique in that the prequalification semesters are completed from approved community college laboratory sciences programs or at the Big Rapids main campus with the final professional sequence of classes completed at our Grand Rapids campus. All of the clinical laboratory sciences programs (Molecular Diagnostics accreditation is in-progress) are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Graduates of the MLS and MLT programs are eligible to sit for the certification examination sponsored by The American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP), a recognized leader in certification of medical laboratory professionals. Graduates of the Molecular Diagnostic program are eligible to sit for the certification exam after 1 year of employment experiences. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition) projects the job outlook between 2010 – 2020 to be 13% or about as fast as average for the MLT and MLS. Data on DMOL is not identified by the BLS but anecdotal evidence suggests a higher than average demand through 2020.
The Big Rapids-based Respiratory Care program is four semesters in length (not including prequalification course work) and leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree. The Respiratory Care program enjoys accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), Inc. is the credentialing agency that provides graduates the method forprofessional certification. Course work is offered in two centers; Big Rapids main campus and at our extended campus location in Grand Rapids. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition) projects the job outlook between 2010 – 2020 to be 28% or faster than average.
The Health Management area of CRHA provides an opportunity for the only academic minor available in the College of Health Professions in addition to associate and baccalaureate degree programs. The minor in Health Informatics is a twenty-two credit hour program centered on the management and analysis of health data as a result of increased amounts of medical tests, treatments and procedures. The Health Informatics program compliments very well, numerous bachelor’s degree programs in the College of Health Professions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition) projects the job outlook between 2010 – 2020 to be 18% or faster than average for all occupations in the United States. The Health Information Technology (HIT) program is five semesters in length and leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree. With the advent of ICD-9 coding migrating to ICD-10 coding, the importance of these professionals is surely to rise. The Health Information Management (HIM) program is approximately nine semesters in length and leads to a Bachelor in Applied Science degree. These programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management education (CAHIIM). The Health Care Systems Administration (HCSA) is approximately ten semesters in length and leads to a Bachelor in Applied Science degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition) projects the job outlook between 2010 – 2020 to be 21% or faster than average for each of these professionals.
The newest program in the College of Health Professions is the BS in Public Health degree, launched Fall 2014. This option should prove to be of great interest to those seeking to pursue a role in a vast array of employment opportunities. Nearly every facet of one’s life is impacted by a public health professional. Practitioners in this role incorporate interdisciplinary approaches of epidemiology, biostatistics and numerous health care services. Graduates of this program may pursue a career in environmental health, community health, behavioral health, health economics, public policy and occupational health to name a few. Ultimately, the goal of public health experts is to improve health and quality of life through the prevention and treatment of disease. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics-Occupational Outlook Handbook suggests health educators/community health workers job outlook between 2012 – 2022 is faster than average median pay of $37,500 annually (as of 2012). Epidemiologists, as a specialty, average annual pay of $65,270 (as of 2012) and occupational health specialists earn a median annual wage of $66,790 (as of 2012). Public health certainly offers many options for those interested.
In closing, I encourage you to examine each of these programs in more detail and speak with program faculty to determine what program(s) is best suited to you and your career aspirations. Stop back frequently to learn details of new programming we have in development; Gerontology, Long-term care, MS in Public Health and Lean healthcare to name a few.
Gregory R. Zimmerman, Ed.D
Department Head, CRHA
College of Health Professions
200 Feris Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307