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In-demand medical field training offered

August 2, 2018
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

In Southwest Florida, jobs in the medical field are in high demand, and not just surgeons and nurses.

There is also a need for nurses assistants, home health aides, office workers and phlebotomists, well-paying jobs that don't require a college degree or a long period of time in school.

Southwestern Vocational Training, at 4940 Bayline Drive in North Fort Myers, is training people in all these jobs, and can get you trained and working in as little as two weeks.

Tracy Walters, education coordinator, said the idea is to get people in careers faster, especially those who can't go to school for 15 months.

"We get them ready to work in people's homes, work for agencies and be home health aides," Walters said. "We also get them ready to work for a hospital, urgent care centers, doctor's office and more."

"The school fills a huge need. We help people change their lives. We are supportive and do whatever we can to help them," said campus manager Rosemarie Marzano. "Many of our students have had rough lives and we try to make them successful."

SWVT started in 2009 in Cape Coral as a licensed post-secondary school. When it outgrew that facility, it moved to its current location last December.

SWVT has provided training to more than 1,500 students for careers that will strengthen your career development in a small-class environment that gives students the individualized attention to help them succeed.

"We try to keep class sizes down to around 15 to give that individual attention. Phlebotomy is a complex skill and we're doing it quickly so I want to sit with a student who's struggling," Walters said. "I can't do that with 25 to a class."

Among the programs is a prep course for certified nursing assistants to get you ready for your state exam, which is one week during the day and two at night.

They also have a program for home health aides that can have you working in as little as two weeks, and phlebotomy, which can get you trained in as little as three weeks.

Walters said you would think courses like this would take months, but that's not true if you know the basics.

"We focus on the basic skills of phlebotomy, drawing blood with straight needles, doing capillary sticks. We get them to entry level positions," Walters said.

These entry-level positions don't pay badly. While it may vary depending on where you work and what you do, Walters said starting pay is roughly about $14 an hour.

Other courses, including patient care technician, medical assistant and accounting specialist, take anywhere from three to six months. There are also courses you can take online, at your own pace, and SWVT is always looking to add more courses as it grows.

Not only are the courses short, they don't cost too much which, for many, is a determining factor in whether people can go to school. Financial aid is offered and many of the students leave SWVT with little or no student debt.

"We offer a lot of scholarships, both in-house and we also give resources that offer help with tuition. We will work with a student and break down the payments and you'll leave here debt free," Walters said. "You don't need an associates degree to be a medical assistant."

Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday by appointment only. Classes are held Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the day and 5:30 to 9:45 p.m. at night.

For more information, call 214-0717 or go to



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