Just a friendly warning – this is going to be a rant.
People or institutions which display poorly thought out ideas and actions make me want to scream. I listen to a lot of talk radio, and it frequently sounds to me like people are spouting out a bunch of crap that they don’t know a lot about. Take Sarah Palin and the Paul Revere story. I heard her comments described as “word salad”. Can’t think of anything better to call it.
A few months back, I got a letter from the Allied Health department at Orange Coast College to tell me that once again, I did not make the cut for the cardiovascular technology program for Fall 2011. When I first applied to the program in March of 2009, they said it would be about 1-2 years. Now they are saying that the list has been stable at three years. Really? Why weren’t we told that two years ago?
This really irritates me to no end. I mean really, how hard is it to count the number of people on a list? I guessing the counting portion of keeping a list is not what they do well.
And all of this wouldn’t bother me nearly as much if they took a student’s qualifications into consideration. This is true for all of the allied health programs at OCC. They are first come, first serve. Let’s think about this for a minute. During the economic downturn, many people are going back to school to pursue new careers. So these waiting lists have gotten longer in recent years. I understand that. The downside is that some of the people on those lists shouldn’t be anywhere near a patient, but they get a chance to be in these programs just because they finished the pre-requisites and they got to the top of the list.
OCC doesn’t care if a student has previously been unsuccessful in work or school. So someone who couldn’t hold down a job, or decided not to apply themselves to an educational process still gets into the programs. Every student has to pass the “weed-out” class Anatomy & Physiology, but they have 3 to 4 times that they can attempt the class. OCC doesn’t care how long it takes a student to pass the pre-requisite classes, as long as they pass with a C or better.
So if you are in a hospital, and a technician comes in to do an ultrasound or respiratory treatment, how do you feel about having someone treating you that just barely made it through school? Or maybe these students never get hired after graduation because the medical institutions see that they aren’t all that great. In the meantime, more qualified applicants are sitting on the waiting lists.
Another downside to this “first come, first serve” policy is that the highly qualified students are finishing their pre-requisites and going to other schools that actually have a merit based application process. And that is most of the other community colleges in this area (e.g. Cypress, Golden West, Saddleback). Because of the merit based application process, the good students are getting into programs faster at schools other than OCC. The problem is that OCC is the only school that offers some of the Allied Health programs.
You may think this is just sour grapes, and I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve worked with some of these students as a tutor, and some of them have no business pursuing a health profession. So my advice to the health care consumer: ask questions about the practitioners that you encounter. If you aren’t happy with their patient skills or technical knowledge, request another technician. I know this has opened my eyes. I always thought that people practicing in the medical fields were the cream of the crop. Now I know that at least some of the them can wait patiently and have nothing better to do with their time.
End of rant.