Skills Development Grant to increase healthcare quality at Northwest Texas Healthcare Systems

By Sarah Seeley

Amarillo, Texas - Patients visiting the Northwest Texas Healthcare System can soon expect even more specialized treatment from their nurses.

It's all because of a new Skills Development Grant from the Texas Workforce Commission to help provide better quality healthcare.

Two local businesses have partnered with Amarillo College to train more than 450 new or upgraded jobs.

Northwest Texas Hospital will train almost 270 nurses, respiratory therapists, and surgical technicians to be specialists in their fields of work.

CEO Kyle Sanders says the importance of training general workers to thrive in their fields will increase the level of care.

"Advanced certification serves a couple of purposes," said Sanders.  "It gives them the additional education that they need that will help them better treat our patients, giving them the specialized knowledge that they need while they're interacting with our patients every day."

Tom Pauken from the Texas Workforce Commission says better training of healthcare workers will give them better opportunities to advance their careers and allow for more jobs.

"What it will do is upgrade the skills of the health professionals and that's going to allow more people to get hired at the entry level, lower level, once this skills are upgraded," said Pauken.

The Texas Workforce Commission also gave Amarillo College a grant for more than $160,000 to the Bell Helicopter training program.

Roger Williams of Bell Helicopter says the grants they have received over the last ten years with Amarillo College has greatly affected their product's quality.

"They've been very key to the success we've had in this area because we were able to deliver to our customer a high quality safe product in large part because of the training these people that received," said Williams.