The freshest news and views from the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
Monday, July 15, 2019
Regina White: Finding a career saving lives thanks to Grossmont College
Regina White was tired of struggling to make ends meet
waiting tables and working in low-wage sales jobs. So she came to Grossmont
College to find a new career.
Good thing. Thanks to Grossmont’s Cardiovascular Technology
program, Garcia is flourishing as a cardiovascular tech at the Balboa Naval
Center’s cardiac catherization lab.
“Being a CV tech is one of those careers that flies under
the radar when looking at the medical field, but it’s fascinating work and it
pays very good money,” White said. “And when it comes to training CV techs,
Grossmont College is the gold standard.”
In fact, Grossmont College has graduated more than 2,000 cardiovascular
technologists since launching its program in 1972. The passing rate for
graduates who take a credentialing exam is 100 percent, and close to 90 percent
of students in recent years are working in a field that – according to the federal Bureau of Labor
Statistics – pays an average wage of more than $72,000 annually in San Diego
White initially enrolled in the
Telemetry/Electrocardiographic Technician program when she came to Grossmont
College in fall 2013 shortly before turning 44 years old. Her plans changed
when an instructor screened a video of a patient undergoing a cardiac catheterization.
“I was mesmerized by what this one guy
in scrubs was doing and I kept asking the instructor about it. He said it was a
cardiovascular tech. I was like, ‘that’s what I want to do.’”
Cardiovascular technologists work side by side with
physicians in performing tests to diagnose and treat patients with
cardiovascular disease. The profession comprises three basic areas of expertise:
invasive cardiology, noninvasive cardiology, and vascular cardiology. After
completing her year-long Telemetry/Electrocardiographic curriculum, White
enrolled in the two-year Cardiovascular Technology program. Because she was a
credentialed telemetry tech, she worked full time on the weekends, a job that
exposed her regularly to what cardiovascular technologists did.
White graduated with an associate degree in 2016 in
cardiovascular technology. She embarked on her new career almost immediately,
first working in the open-heart operating room at Grossmont Hospital for a year
before moving to Paradise Valley Hospital and then the Naval hospital in Balboa
Park, where she has been since 2018.
She’s also been a part-time instructor in the telemetry
program at Grossmont since 2018.
“I work two jobs, I love them both, and I have them both
because of Grossmont College,” White said.