College News

CCCC Con Ed Medical programs graduate hundreds

CCCC Con Ed Medical programs graduate hundreds

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Crystal George (left), of Lee County, receives congratulations and roses from her friend Stephanie ... (more)

CCCC Con Ed Medical programs graduate hundreds

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Graduating student Denise Byrd, of Lee County, addresses her fellow graduates and the audience dur ... (more)

CCCC Con Ed Medical programs graduate hundreds

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Central Carolina Community College Continuing Education Medical Programs graduates (from left) Dee ... (more)

CCCC Con Ed Medical programs graduate hundreds

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Dylan McLeod (left), of Harnett County, receives his Nurse Aide I pin from Lennie Stephenson, Harn ... (more)

CCCC Con Ed Medical programs graduate hundreds

click to enlarge ⊗

Bailey Pigford (center), age 79, gets congratulatory kisses from his daughter, Carla Peters (left) ... (more)

12.15.2011Continuing EducationStudents/Graduates

SANFORD - Bailey Pigford, of Goldston, knows what he wants to do for a career: work with seniors in the health field.

Pigford has a lot of empathy for older Americans since, at the age of 79, he is one of them. Age hasn't stopped him from working hard for his goal. At Central Carolina Community College's Dec. 14 Continuing Education Department Medical Programs graduation, he proudly received his Phlebotomy Certificate. He's already enrolled in the Nurse Aide I program.

"I retired from Honeywell, in Moncure, in 1997," he said. "I got up one morning and said, I got to be doing something."

He was interested in the health field, so he called CCCC for information about its programs and signed up. Now, he's looking forward to his new career field.

His daughter, Carla Peters, and wife, Fairbell Pigford, were on hand to congratulate him following the graduation ceremony. Peters, a 1988 graduate of the college's Associate Degree Nursing program, said she is extremely proud of what her father has accomplished.

Pigford was one of 485 students who completed their Continuing Education medical courses during the fall semester. The students were from the college's service area of Lee, Harnett and Chatham counties, as well as Cumberland, Hoke, Johnston, Moore, Orange, Sampson, Randolph, Robeson, and Wake counties.

For the first time, the Continuing Education medical programs in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties held a combined graduation. Almost 300 gathered at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center for the ceremony.

"It is very rewarding to see them finish," said Judy Farmer, the college's Continuing Education medical programs coordinator in Lee County. "Many have overcome hardships in their lives to achieve this goal. Now, they have skills to take into the job market. I feel privileged to have been part of this. They're prepared for entry-level positions in the health care field or to go on with their education in more advanced programs."

Speakers for the graduation were students Amanda Byrd, of Harnett County, and Denise Byrd, of Lee County. Michael Anderson, of Chatham County, a graduate of CCCC's Sleep Disorder Technician and Respiratory Therapist programs and an instructor, was also scheduled to speak, but was unable to attend.

Many of the graduates were now, like Pigford, entering on their second or third careers. Speaker Amanda Byrd had worked as a teaching assistant in Harnett County Schools for 13 years, then in banking for 15 years. When she was laid off, she decided to see it as a positive - an opportunity to return to school and gain the skills to work in the health care field. She received her Phlebotomy Certificate at the graduation.

"I urge all of you to take any opportunity for education and live your passion," she told her fellow graduates and the audience. She then added a humorous observation about phlebotomists, who draw blood: "You know you are a phlebotomist if you eye people's arms in the checkout line, the sight of blood excites you, and you know people by their vein size."

Denise Byrd had already completed her EKG Technician Certificate studies; she received her Nurse Aide I Certificate at the graduation. She has now enrolled in curriculum classes, taking the prerequisites for the college's Associate Degree Nursing program.

She shared with the audience the news that the Nurse Aide I class of which she has been a part was the first in the state to pass the required state exam on the first sitting, an accomplishment of which they could all be proud.

Certificates were received in the areas of EKG Technician, EKG Monitor Technician, Patient Care Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy, Laboratory Assistant, Nurse Aide I, Nurse Aide I Refresher, Nurse Aide II, Medication Technician, Health Care Billing and Coding, and Healthcare Activity Director.

"The biggest growing job field is health care," said Len Royals, the college's Harnett County director of Continuing Education. "This training they have received provides a good opportunity for them."