New health career schools get students into a profession faster



FLINT TWP. — On Monday, the second class of students at Genesee Health Careers started their Certified Nurses Aide training. And in only three weeks, they should graduate and be ready to go to work. A fast turnaround is a big attraction of the new school which started its first class April 18 at 3306 Miller Road in the Yorkshire Plaza. “They can come here and get a quality education in a shorter length of time,” said Liz Petrella, owner, who is a registered nurse. She has a master’s of science in nursing degree from Wayne State University, was a staff

nurse at Hurley Medical Center and has taught at Mott Community College for 20 years.

Other nurse’s aid training programs offered in the area can take seven to 10 weeks, she said, adding that all CNA students must take and pass the same state certification exam regardless of the length of their coursework.

Another plus is that Sue Parker, the CNA instructor, has a 90 percent successful passing rate with her students on the state certification exam, Petrella said.

Genesee Health Careers also offers a 24-week Medical Assistant training program but still is lining up enough students before classes begin. Petrella said she also is working on adding other programs. All curriculum is approved and licensed by the state, she said.

Medical assistants are trained to work in a doctor’s office performing tasks including drawing blood, giving injections, doing assessments and generally assisting physicians, Petrella said.

The nurse’s aide program trains people to work at the bedside, taking vital signs and otherwise attending to the patient’s basic needs.

One of Petrella’s goals in starting her business was to to assist nurses-in-waiting. Being in the education field, Petrella said she was aware of many students interested in nursing but hindered by supply and demand. She’s aware of long waiting lists to get into a professional practical nurse program.

“Many of them wanted to go into nursing but could not afford to sit around waiting until their number came up,” Petrella said.

Flint area hospitals stopped offering sites for clinical experience, further drying up opportunities for students to get into some sort of nursing while on the waiting list to get into higher education.

“I saw this as a building block to their future education,” Petrella said of her business. It gives them a means to earn money while they are waiting, she said.

Petrella has three employees and a fourth hired to teach the Medical Assistant program when it fills up. Petrella also will be teaching.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “I’ve been in education for a good number of years and thought I would do something to venture out. Education is my joy.”

Besides being affordable — $13.50 per contact hour — her school is accessible, located on the bus line and near the freeway, she said.

Being a smaller school also facilitates one-on-one help for students who need it, she added. Class size is capped at 16 students.

“We’re small but we’re attractive,” she said.

Anyone interested in taking classes or finding our more about them can call 810-715-5530 or visit the school’s web site at

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