Eight years ago, Stuart Wilson saw an opportunity. As an Echo/Vascular Technician with nearly 25 years of experience, he saw the need for more people in his field and opened the Allied Health Institute in Merrillville.
“Back then there was always plenty of work, but today they are desperate for people,” he said. “We receive calls asking for us to refer graduates all the time. Just recently, there was such a need for a Vascular Tech at one of the facilities we work with that I ended up filling in for two days.”
Along with the Vascular Technician program, the locally-owned and operated Allied Health Institute also offers programs in other high-demand areas including Cardiology Technician, Echocardiography Technician, Pharmacy Technician and Medical Billing & Coding Specialist. All programs are fully accredited, with classrooms and clinical laboratories all onsite.
The documented shortage of professionals in allied health – practitioners with formal education and clinical training who are credentialed through a certification or licensing process that make up an estimated 60 percent of America’s healthcare workforce – is causing recruiting headaches for hospitals, clinics and group practices across the country.
Approximately 80 million baby boomers in the U.S. are reaching retirement age and placing an increasing strain on the shrinking pool of allied health care professionals.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts more than 6.1 million health care workers will be needed nationally between 2008 and 2018 to fill new jobs and replace workers who leave their jobs or retire.
Of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the labor market, more than half are in the allied health care field.
“The demand for medical professionals is certainly on the rise across our region – we have a brand new hospital in Porter County and Community Hospital in Lake County just announced a huge expansion,” Allied Health Institute Administrative Director Jill Balcerak said. “With more than 30 new local job postings each month, our graduates have more opportunities than ever before.”
Credentialed Allied Health professionals always have the option of working in the accredited hospital, clinic or private doctor office of their choice, locally or nationally.
“All of our programs range from 6-14 months, and classes meet just one or two days per week making them a great fit for people looking to make a career change,” Balcerak added. “Many people also find the fact that these in-demand healthcare jobs do not require anything to do with blood or needles very appealing.”
With small classes of no more than 15 students, Allied Health Institute provides plenty of hands-on experience. More than 2,000 students have completed their programs and changed their lives with a new career in the growing medical field.
“The Indiana Heart & Vascular Institute in Michigan City has been accepting Allied Health Institute’s cardiology technology students as interns for years,” Administrator Christina Kukler, RN, BSN said. “We’ve been very pleased with how knowledgeable and professional they are. In fact, we have two graduates working for us now.”
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Allied Health Institute
8398 Mississippi St.