CSM Newsroom

Seventy-Two CSM Graduates Earn Recognition for Pursuing Health Care Careers

September 26, 2023

“What I love about this recognition event is that it shines the spotlight on the entire health care team.”

College of Southern Maryland (CSM) graduates were joined by family and friends recently to celebrate their decision to enter careers in various health care fields at the annual Health Career Readiness Recognition ceremony.

Seventy-two students who recently completed programs to become Certified Medical Administrative Assistants, Certified Nursing/Geriatric Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technicians, Dental Assistants, Phlebotomy Technicians, Medical Coding Specialists, Medical Assistants, Pharmacy Technicians, Practical Nurses, and Paramedics were celebrated. 

Dean of the School of Science and Health Dr. Laura Polk opened the ceremony by welcoming the attendees and congratulating the students. 

“What I love about this recognition event is that it shines the spotlight on the entire health care team,” she said. “This is important because health care is very much a team sport. Collaboration in health care is best exemplified when every health care team member effectively embraces their complementary role within the team, works cooperatively, shares the responsibility for problem-solving, and contributes positively to care. We know that when this happens, the result is improved health outcomes.” 

Certified Medical Administrative Assistants 

Medical administrative assistant duties may include greeting patients, scheduling appointments, filing insurance claims, and answering incoming calls. Students who graduate from this two-course program are eligible to take the NHA Certified Medical Administrative Assistant exam. 

Hayley Bimson, Alexis Figueroa, Rachel Hall, and Annmarie Rye completed this program. 

Certified Nursing and Geriatric Nursing Assistants  

A student who successfully completes this workforce training certificate meets eligibility requirements to become a Certified Nursing Assistant through application to the Maryland Board of Nursing. To obtain a Geriatric Nursing Assistant Certification, students can take the Maryland Nurse Aide Examination approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing to obtain their nursing assistant certification. Students can also take the geriatric nursing assistant competency exam. 

A nursing assistant performs duties for patients in a health care setting, such as feeding, dressing, grooming, moving and changing linens. This workforce training certificate consists of two classes: Nursing Assistant Fundamentals and Nursing Assistant Practice. 

Students who completed the Certified Nursing and Geriatric Nursing Assistants program were Isabella Carney, Gabriella McDuffie, Zuri Young, Aspen Dean, Bianca Mendoza, and Paige Phillips. 

Patient Care Technician

The patient care technician program prepares Certified Nursing Assistants working in a hospital setting to perform/deliver additional patient care tasks. Advanced skills include EKG's, venipuncture, IV, management of urinary catheters, wound/ostomy/splint care, and specimen collection.

Samantha Barnes, Joy Keller, Denise Key, Taikila Mbah, Ivie Noel, Deondrea Taylor, Melissa Wilkerson, and Seblewongel Zemene completed this program.

Certified Dental Assistants  

Students who have received their dental assistant certification qualify to sit for the Dental Assisting National Board Radiation Health and Safety Examination. They are prepared to assist with patient care and with further education can become Registered Dental Hygienists.  

Students who completed this program were Gabriela Anaya Barraza, Caitlin Bird, Karla D’Alessandro, Shacoya Davis, Khalesha Fryer, Ariana Rose Harrod, Gabrielle Higgs, Peyton Kerig, Yesenia Morales, Katelyn Norris, Stephanie Patterson, and Arely Rico-Morales.  


Phlebotomy technicians draw blood from patients or donors. With further training, a technician can become a Medical Laboratory Technician or Technologist.  Students who completed this program were Amanda Crooks, Shaniya Gantt, Brandi Hong, Kylie Lopez, Aubrey Nance, Cheyenne Roberts, and Jasmine Ellis. 

Medical Assistants 

Medical assistants manage office responsibilities in physicians' offices, clinics, medical departments in industry and government, and other ambulatory care centers. Graduates prepare patients for examinations, take vital signs, obtain specimens, and administer medications under the supervision of a physician. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination.  

Students who completed this program were Sara King, Danielle Parker, Andrea Rucker, and Madylin Sheehy. 

EMS Paramedic

The Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic certificate program prepares graduates to provide emergency pre-hospital medical care to those who have sustained potentially life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Completion of the Paramedic certificate program qualifies graduates to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (NREMT-P) examinations or comparable state examinations.

Students who completed the program were Jamie Bean Selena Bertolo, Aaron Brewster, Abigail Brown, Jonathan Exline, Nikita Heggs, Paige Hill, Alexander Merz and Nicholas Rawlings.

Pharmacy Technicians 

The Pharmacy Technician program prepares pharmacy technicians to work under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians stock and inventory prescription and over-the-counter medications; maintain written or computerized patient medication records; count or pour medications into dispensing containers; prepare sterile intravenous medications; type prescription labels, prepare insurance claim forms; and provide direct customer service. 

Graduates are eligible to take the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination or the Examination for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. 

Son Phan completed this program. 

Practical Nursing 

Practical nurses provide care that promotes the achievement of optimal health outcomes. Students learn the principles and practices of nursing through study and practice, including clinical practica off campus in a variety of health care settings under the supervision of nursing instructors. The Practical Nursing certificate program prepares graduates to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN), and employment opportunities exist in long-term care and a variety of community-based health care agencies 

The students who completed this program were Chasity Burke, Lisa Corbin, Paige Curtis, Brittany Gilbert, Oluwabukunmi Kaiyewi, Mary Lee, Brittany Lewis, Casey Lewis, Brittany Messina, Emiliann Simpson and Hope Smart. 

Medical Coding Specialists 

The Medical Coding Specialist program provides the knowledge and skills needed to classify medical data from patient records for submission to insurance companies or the government for reimbursement of expenses and to researchers and public health officials to monitor trends in healthcare.. The medical coding students are preparing to sit for the Certified Coding Associate exam, from the American Health Information Management Association. 

Medical coders are employed in hospitals, physician offices, surgery centers, insurance companies and as consultants.  Caniesha Barnes, Brittany Boggs, Kenneth Boykins, Vaneese Briscoe, Patricia Ignacio, Rainey Johnson, Gabrielle Powell, Brianna Russell, Natalia Salazar-Guzman and Destiny Schwallenberg completed this program.

Executive Director of Workforce Development Programs Kelly Winters closed the program with two pieces of advice for students: to remember to take care of themselves as they begin their demanding careers, and to consider the next step of their careers even as they begin this one.

“You are entering a health care field. In case you didn’t realize it, that automatically comes with an obligation for continued education,” she said. “Whether that means professional development units, another certificate, or a future degree I leave you with a homework assignment of lifelong learning. It is through lifelong learning that you will grow both personally and professionally and gain an even greater ability to contribute to quality health care. 

Encompassing credit degree programs like Nursing, EMS, Medical Lab Technology, and more, and continuing education workforce training certificates in a variety of specialties like Phlebotomy, CNA/GNA and ECG/EKG Technicians, the Health Pathway at CSM provides a broad variety of medical training for a number of different careers. Some types of nurses and therapists can expect to get started on their careers after two years or advance their education with certifications at CSM; medical assistants and phlebotomists can get certified in a matter of weeks or months.

To view photos from this event, visit https://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/summer23hcrr.

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