Healthcare Heroes

Healthcare Heroes

Fall 2020

| By: Britten, Casey

Pandemic shines a light on healthcare careers. 

Healthcare work has taken on new significance with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. If working in healthcare is a calling, many are reassessing their lives in response to that call to help others.  

Nursing is a popular career choice and for good reason: it’s a rewarding, highly respected career with solid earning potential and job security. However, there are a variety of other health careers that are just as fulfilling. 

When Rachel Werner, 34, took the phlebotomy essentials class as part of her nursing curriculum, she wasn’t aware that working in a lab was an option. “It seemed that if you wanted to work in healthcare you could either be a nurse or a doctor and that was it,” she says. 

As a result, the Appleton resident transferred into the newly created Medical Laboratory Technician program. She graduated in May 2020 and is now a lab technician at Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton. 

“I enjoy the fast pace of the lab,” she says. “We never stop learning and are constantly adapting. One positive impact that the pandemic has had is to shine a light on the lab and the work that we do.”

Healthcare employers like Ascension turn to Fox Valley Tech for people with this passion and skill. “Our region needs dedicated, compassionate and skilled healthcare professionals,” says Heather Schimmers, RN, Chief Nursing Officer for Ascension Wisconsin. “The hands-on training FVTC graduates receive helps them jump right in at a time when we need it most.”

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What does it take to teach nursing students during a pandemic? 

Take a look at how FVTC staff rallied to get it done during the challenging spring 2020 semester:


NCLEX test scores of FVTC nursing students #1 in the nation among 2000 nursing schools for the last 3 years

NCLEX: National Council Licensure Examination