A Sheridan County native helped launch a master’s program in cardiac function and technology – Natural Self Esteem

dr Ken Turley is a 1982 graduate of Sheridan High School and a professor at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. For the past 13 months he has helped launch the country’s first Master’s degree in cardiac function and intervention technology. The program aims to enable graduates and those already working in this field to develop technologies to treat patients with heart disease and improve their quality of life.

Turley has been with Harding for 25 years and has taught a variety of courses in the Sports Science department. The master’s course will be offered for the first time in the fall semester.

“I joined our practice science club on a Zoom call, which I never really did, but I knew the two girls who would be speaking to our students and I had some kind of an idea of ​​what they were doing,” Turley said. “They talked about how they went to this certification program and they did this training and they felt really prepared by the training they received here at Harding. They’re just starting to say, ‘I was wondering if we could do this instead of sending these amazing kids away and letting them go.’”

Turley asked the university administration to grant him a sabbatical, which was granted. This gave him the opportunity to attend other universities that award certificates for existing cardiology and engineering-related studies. After taking some online training courses on the subject and making some additional visits, he was able to get in touch with Mark Sweesy on site, who helped create Harding’s program.

Currently, a number of universities across the country offer certificate programs that last around six months and have no prerequisite courses. The Harding program lasts 10 months and requires applicants to meet a few prerequisites before being admitted to the program.

“What we have to offer here that certificate programs don’t have is [that] We already have a physician assistant program, we have a nursing program, a pharmacy program, and we have a PT [physical therapy] program,” Turley said. “We try to expand the depth of training with the resources that we create here at Harding.”

Demand for cardiac function and interventional technology workers continues to grow. Turley said students who earn a certificate or complete the Harding program are almost guaranteed a job in the field because demand outweighs the skilled workforce.

“Last year, literally, a study came out [show] It’s a $53 billion market and that’s huge,” he said. “I spoke to a lady, she is the global director of education for Biosense, [and] She sets between 150 and 200 [to work on] heart devices into your company. I spoke to a similar lady at Medtronic, [and] they set between 200 and 250.”

Turley said most students who graduate with certificates or future degrees go into manufacturing heart devices, which include pacemakers. But since Harding’s program and institutions that offer certificates are a little different, Turley said he doesn’t see them as competition because they contribute to the needs of the workforce. He also explained that heart problems are one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with heart problems accounting for about 25 percent of deaths in the United States and about a third worldwide. He hopes the students will go out and make a difference around the world by helping improve and save patients’ lives.

“There’s just a tremendous need out there and so we just want to fit in and help the industry fill those roles,” Turley said. “It’s unique on the academic side, but this is an industry-based program. We have the industry on campus, they actually donate the programmers that we’re going to use for training because they want to know who these students are so they can hire them directly when they interview.”

To date, around 25 students have applied to the master’s programme, which Turley has found popular with those already working in the field. One of them turns out to be Sheridan’s. He said many are pursuing college degrees for career advancement and there is significant demand for an online program, although it would not be implemented in the first year. Several students have already been enrolled, with around 15 being the first class size.

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