Strivers: Looking Ahead, Aiming to Move Up
The job market may be tight these days, but for Art Serrano, it's as
wide open and broad as the smile on his face whenever he considers his
newfound future. Serrano is a security officer who is now completing
a certificate program at Hopkins' School of Medical Imaging. The program
doesn't end until December, but by midsummer, he already had a fistful
of job offers.
Serrano is one of several hundred people who are taking advantage of
certificate, degree and other educational programs sponsored by The
Johns Hopkins Hospital and designed to help employees move up to higher
career levels. These programs either offer tuition remission or are
free-of-charge to employees. Many are conveniently based on or near
the East Baltimore campus. All represent Hopkins' commitment to providing
its own entry-level staff with opportunities to advance.
Serrano started out as a protective services officer with Broadway Services, patrolling the perimeter of the campus. Then he was tapped to be an executive driver. He had studied biology in college and occasionally expressed his interest in medicine and science to passengers. Two, Hospital President Ron Peterson and Dean Edward Miller, took an interest in the affable young man and advised him to investigate the educational opportunities at Hopkins. When Serrano was surfing the Intranet (www.insidehopkinsmedicine.org/education/healthcareertraining.cfm), he came across the School of Medical Imaging and knew he was on to something.
After taking two prerequisites, Serrano enrolled in the school's 18-month,
full-time, core program in radiography. He took classes in the basement
of CMSC (the program has since moved to the Power Plant in the Inner
Harbor) and did clinical rotations at Hopkins Hospital and Outpatient
Center, Bayview Medical Center, Sinai Hospital, and American Radiology
Services at White Marsh and Timonium Crossing.
Students currently are reimbursed for tuition (see side bar) if they
take a job with the Hospital or Health System. At Hopkins, depending
on the shift, Serrano can make between $36,000 and $44,000 as a radiographer.
(Sonographers and nuclear medicine techs start at about $48,000.) If
he cross-trains in CT or MRI, his salary will take another jump.
For now, Serrano is earning income as a part-time security guard. At
4 p.m. after a full day in school or on rotation, he dons his uniform
and covers door posts or special details. Says Serrano: "I am working
hard, but in the long run, it will pay off."