Midland College Graduate Trains Next Generation of Health Professionals for the Community

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Midland College Graduate Trains Next Generation of Health Professionals for the CommunityOctober 12, 2021

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Susie Dominguez

Healthcare runs in the family for Susie Dominguez. She and her mother Elvia Erives both graduated from Midland College (MC) in 2008: Dominguez with an Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care and Erives with her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing. 

“After we both graduated, healthcare was everything for me and my mom,” Dominguez admitted. “We connected so much on that topic. We could talk at the dinner table for hours about what happened at work. My dad would feel a little left out, but he was proud of us. He supported my high-school aged brother as well as my mom and me while we were studying at MC. We were only able to follow our dreams of a career in healthcare because of MC’s affordable tuition.” 

These days, especially with COVID-19, Dominguez and her mother are uniquely prepared to respond to the pandemic.

“I have a lot of friends who are on the front lines,” Dominguez said. “My mom is now a travel nurse. She is currently in Abilene working in one of the COVID-19 hospitals there.”

Dominguez worked as a respiratory therapist in the hospital setting until she had her third son. (She and her husband now have a total of 4 boys ages 12, 8, 6, 3).

“I always thought I wanted to be a director at a hospital,” Dominguez said. “Of course, when you think you have your life planned, God opens different doors. I started working at MC, and I fell back in love with it as a staff member.” 

Now Dominguez is having a larger impact on patients in Midland. She prepares the next generation of healthcare workers as the department chair of MC’s Health Sciences Foundation, which consists of dual credit offerings that are part of the MC/MISD College & Careers Academy.

“The program is so unique,” Dominguez explained. “High school students get to explore health-related topics of study beginning in 9th grade. By the time they get to their senior year, many can pursue an industry certification as a pharmacy technician, emergency medical technician (EMT), certified nursing assistant (CNA), Patient Care Tech (PCT) or many other fields of study. The students can actually graduate high school with a certificate from MC, making them workforce ready.” 

In addition to her responsibilities as department chair, Dominguez also teaches classes to the high school students enrolled in the dual credit classes. She tailors her style of teaching based on her own experiences as an MC Health Sciences student.  

“I love being in front of the students!” Dominguez exclaimed. “I love all the aspects of my job. I can see all these students grow and succeed in the four years of this program. We just had our first cohort graduate last spring, and it was so amazing. I tell the students all the time how lucky they are to be able to take these dual credit classes and to graduate with a certificate. They are ready to go to work as entry-level healthcare professionals. At a time like this during a global pandemic, we need them more than ever.”

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