LOS FRESNOS, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The ongoing pandemic has increased demand for healthcare workers around the world. Here in the Rio Grande Valley, students at Los Fresnos High School will soon enter the medical field with their newly acquired certifications.

“I always knew that I had always wanted to study the medical field,” said Karen Garcia senior. “Los Fresnos offered some certifications.”

Garcia is one of seven students who can now enter the medical field here in the Valley right out of high school. Students have spent the last five months training for their patient care technician and phlebotomy certifications. Now their goals have become a reality.

“Actually right now there are a lot of people suffering from COVID and stuff and if I can help anyway I also think it’s very rewarding to know that you can help d ‘other people,’ Garcia said.

Patient care technicians help nurses care for patients in their daily activities. Phlebotomists take blood from patients for laboratory work.

The professor of health sciences Luis Muniz taught the students of this program. Muniz tells ValleyCentral that seeing a student achieve their goals is very rewarding.

“I am very happy with my job,” Muniz said. “I am very happy that the students are happy that you can see the faces every time they receive this diploma or this little certificate.”

Now that these students have their certifications, they believe it is coming at a good time as healthcare workers are in high demand due to the pandemic. Some students are already looking for jobs at local clinics.

“I’m going to work and go to school, and continue my education,” Garcia said. “But at least I will already have some experience in a job in the medical field right out of high school.”

As Garcia and her classmates prepare to enter the healthcare field, they say the most rewarding part of their careers is the people they’ll help later.

“I feel like people are going to be the most rewarding parts of being in the medical field .. so I can’t wait to be there,” Senior Moon Gonzalez said.

“After a very stressful semester with studies and stuff, being able to have that accomplishment is something,” Garcia said. “It makes you proud of yourself. “

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