The Richmond Register

Local News

March 21, 2014

Second Chance program Tuesday shows pathway to health careers

RICHMOND — For 15 years, Chasity Frakes was a hairdresser, and she loved it. She enjoyed meeting new people, and she looked forward to seeing clients that she’d had for years.

“You really get to know them personally,” she said.

So she knew if she ever switched careers, it would have to be something truly inspiring, and something that would enable her to continue to help others.

People change careers for many reasons. Unlike Chasity, many discover they don’t actually enjoy the work for which they’ve trained.

Others, especially in recent years, can’t find a job in their field of study.

To reach people in these situations, the Southern Kentucky Area Health Education Center, in partnership with Berea College’s Partners for Education, is hosting the first-ever Second Chance Project, a workshop designed for those who might already have a job or a degree in another field but wish to transition into health care.

The free workshop is Tuesday night at the Berea College Alumni Building, across from Union Church. Registration begins at 5:15 p.m., and the program starts at 6. A meal will be provided.

Representatives from area colleges and universities will comprise a panel that will discuss health-science degree options, especially those designed for people who already have degrees in another field. Attendees also will hear success stories and have ample time for questions and networking.

Chasity’s road to her new life began with tragedy. When two of her grandparents became ill with cancer within a span of 18 months, both times she was amazed as she witnessed the skill and compassion of the hospice nurses who cared for them in their last days. Through this experience, she decided she wanted to help people in a new way – as a nurse practitioner.

Chasity, originally from Hardin County but now living in Berea, completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Louisville then trained with Frontier Nursing University to become an advanced-practice registered nurse.

In November of last year, she traded her clippers for a stethoscope, beginning her career as a nurse practitioner. She delivers transitional care for Rockcastle Regional Hospital, making home visits to patients upon their discharge from the hospital.

“This is exactly what I wanted to do,” she said. “To be able to go into homes and help not only individuals but entire families is so rewarding.”

Chasity’s story isn’t unique. Health care is an attractive field for those looking to reinvent themselves. Many find the work rewarding and meaningful, and in many cases the pay is above average. Demand for most healthcare jobs is strong and is expected to grow, according the the Tuesday event organizers. In fact, Careerbuilder reports that four of the top 10 jobs currently most in demand are in health care.

Participants may register the evening of the event, but organizers request preregistratration so they will know how many to prepare for.

For more details or to preregister, go to www.soahec.org/health_careers.html. Details also are available by contacting Kelsey Adams at 606-256-0950 or keadams@soahec.org.

For a Berea College campus map, visit www.berea.edu.

The Southern KY AHEC’s covers a 15-county region from south of Fayette County to the Tennessee border. With a mission of improving health through education, the AHEC supports clinical rotations, provides continuing medical education and engages in health promotion and the promotion of health careers.

For more details, go to www.soahec.org.

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