Friday, December 26, 2008

Community Colleges, An Untapped Resource for Preventing Elder Abuse

For the last three years, I’ve been working with faculty at City College of San Francisco (CCSF), under a grant from the Archstone Foundation, to develop a course in elder abuse prevention for students in the paramedic, health care interpreter, and community health worker programs. Along with my colleagues consultant Eileen Goldman and CCSF instructor Robin Roth, we started out teaching Health 9A Elder Abuse as a traditional course. Later, we modified it into a “computer enhanced” class using online reading assignments, forums, and interactive exercises to supplement the classroom activities. Beginning in March, 2009, I’ll be teaching it as a fully online course. For more information, see Health 9A: Elder Abuse.

I’m really enjoying my teaching stint at CCSF and strongly encourage others to get involved with the community colleges in their areas. It’s a great way to reach allied health professionals. According to an article in the magazine of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, California’s community colleges “credential 80% of the state’s firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical technicians; and 70% of nurses.” Specifically, CCSF prepares students for careers as medical assistants, certified nursing assistants, licensed vocational nurses, registered nurses, nutrition assistants, diagnostic medical imaging technicians, radiology technicians, cardiovascular technicians, EKG technicians, pharmacy technicians, and dental assistants. They also offer programs in the administration of justice, trauma, and drug and alcohol counseling. The schools work closely with their local communities to meet workforce shortages and to make sure that they’re preparing students for the real world. Which also means that they place a strong emphasis on diversity and cultural competence. Truly an untapped resource.

No comments: