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Strivers: Looking Ahead, Aiming to Move Up

Arturo Serrano, a security officer, is preparing for a career in medical imaging.

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 (, 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."


Quick Studies
Looking for a health care career that's right for you? Hoping to move up to higher paying position? Hopkins offers a host of educational programs designed to help you advance to the next level:

Retention Advancement Workshops. Currently geared to Environmental Services employees, these workshops help participants learn how to move into higher level jobs at Hopkins. Once a week for four weeks, employees attend a daylong workshop at Sojourner-Douglass College on Central Avenue, learning how to project positive attitudes. After defining individual areas of interest, participants choose careers as pharmacy techs, phlebotomists, patient service coordinators, or other types of allied health workers. Graduates typically enroll in the Skills Enhancement Program (see below).

Launched in 2002, the workshops are the product of a partnership between The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the federally funded Empower Baltimore Management Corporation. To date, 70 employees have completed the course. Info: Sharon Snow, 410-955-5714, 410-783-4400.

Skills Enhancement Program. Free classes, all held in a welcoming, customer-friendly environment, help employees become more capable in their current position or advance to a higher level. Courses include three levels of G.E.D. prep, medical terminology, and introductory word processing (Microsoft Word). Two-hour classes meet twice a week, day or evening, in Phipps or the Hospital. Twelve-week semesters in spring and fall. Computer classes: 6 weeks. Available to employees of JHH and the JH Health System Corporation. Full-time JHU employees eligible for G.E.D. prep and medical terminology. Info: Barbara Edwards, 410-614-0273.

STEP Program. Certificate programs in clinical associate (nurse extender), surgical tech, phlebotomy, lab tech, medical coder, dietary manager and pharmacy tech given at local colleges. Employees must be full-time for at least a year and have at least one dependent child. Employees continue to work part-time but are paid full time with benefits. In exchange, they sign a service commitment agreement in which they agree to pay back the loan by working at Hopkins for a specified period of time. Slots limited; very competitive. Info: Tameka Bell, 410-955-1488.

LINC. An acronym for ladders in nursing careers, LINC is available to employees seeking a career in nursing. Applicants must have at least one year of employment with the Hospital, Health System or Intrastaff; at least 9 college credits; and a recommendation from their manager. Participants attend a nursing school 16 hours a week and work 24 hours a week with full-time pay and benefits. In exchange, they commit to working at Hopkins for at least as many years as it takes them to earn an R.N. Info: Sheila Green, 410- 502-7884.

Johns Hopkins School of Medical Imaging. Full-time certificate core programs in radiography (18 months, $4,800), nuclear medicine technology (14 months, $6,000), and diagnostic medical sonography (14 months, $6,000). Prerequisites vary. Advanced specialty imaging programs in computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and mammography. Currently, the Department of Radiology reimburses students for tuition if they take a job with the Hospital and Health System. Info:

Baltimore City Community College Associate of Arts Degree. This general studies program is designed for the student who is exploring career and academic opportunities. Benefits-eligible employees of The Johns Hopkins Hospital take most classes in the evenings in the Phipps building. The Hospital pays tuition; employees pay for fees and texts. The 64-69 credit program can be transferred to a four-year college or university. Info: Kim Moore, JHH Human Resources, 410-614-3520.

Patient Care Technicians. Bayview Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital offer courses for certified nursing assistants. No cost; participants agree to work for one year after completion. Details: Bayview: Freddie Jenkins, 410-550-7611; HCGH: HR, 410-740-7815.



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