GNTC Human Lactation students, left to right: Erin Fitzpatrick, Gisselle Silva, Kristin Patterson, Maria Arroyo, Ayra Allen, Scarlet Davis, Heather Ballinger, Shannon Vann, Sydney Matthews, Christiane Worley, and Autumn Robinson
Twelve students from Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s human lactation program were honored at the Gordon County campus in Calhoun.
The event provided an opportunity for students to celebrate their accomplishments with family, friends, and faculty.
Shannon Vann, a student at GNTC Human Lactation in Dallas, shared some of the challenges the class has faced during the pandemic.
“The challenges the class of 2021 faced were schedule changes when several students were quarantined and we had a few virtual weeks in a row. This was communicated as best as possible so we could plan where we needed to be,” Ms Vann said. “Personal protective equipment was another concern, but equipment was provided to students for use and maintenance throughout the clinical rotation.”
During October, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, GNTC human lactation students designed campaigns for community public health as a flagship project.
“One of the students created a social media infographic highlighting breast cancer statistics based on a local hospital’s efforts to boost mammograms and correlated it with the reduced risk experienced by feeding parents,” said Audrey Thompson, GNTC Human Lactation Program Director.
Another initiative of the Human Lactation program was the establishment of an alumni association. The alumni association includes members of all previous classes of human lactation.
The alumni association meets quarterly, virtually or in person. “We plan to hold one or two events a year outside of the pinning ceremony for program graduates and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant exam study groups. We also plan to have an alumnus involved with the Class of 2022 for study guidance, tutoring, and an ongoing presence to build membership in the association,” Ms. Vann said.
GNTC’s Human Lactation Program provides students with clinical and classroom experience in lactation management, lactation counseling skills, and general health sciences.
The GNTC Human Lactation Diploma Program provides a diploma-level academic foundation for the clinical management of lactation and human lactation. Program graduates are trained in the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. They work within a defined scope of practice. The program provides clinical practice experience in managing lactation and breastfeeding counseling skills, as well as training in human lactation, breastfeeding and general health sciences. Graduates of the program will be trained to sit for certification by the International Board of Lactation Examiners to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), which is considered the highest certification of a lactation professional. ‘feeding with milk.