The heart of a Romanian educator lies at Delmon Medical College everyday when there is a new student coming up to explore the opportunities of a dialysis facility in Lincolnwood, IL. Maria Lupașcu, together with her American partners, started up the idea to educate the young generation in a real-life medical environment. She is passionate to share her expertise as one of the faculty members at this institution, which has been a new journey for many who chose to graduate in 2020.
Natalia Ghilașcu: Dear Maria Lupascu, you lately initiated a new medical college in Chicago that is helping students acquire needed knowledge and skills to embrace a new medical career. How did you came up with this idea and why do you think it is needed nowadays?
Maria Lupașcu: Thank you for the opportunity; it is my pleasure to share with you and your readers Delmon Medical College’s vision and our future projects. We are at the beginning of our journey: Delmon Medical College was approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education at the end of December 2018. I can say it was our Christmas present. We started our first cohort at the beginning of April 2019. Currently we offer a Dialysis Technologist Certification Training Program and a Medical Assistant Diploma Training Program.
Delmon’s story begins in a 16-station outpatient dialysis facility, the Center for Renal Replacement. An externship program was established there to assist the community’s post-graduate dialysis technologist students in obtaining the required clinical hours that would qualify them to sit for their certification exam (BONENT).
After many years of encountering post-graduates who required extensive re-training on basic skills and knowledge of materials that should have been mastered before graduation from an approved dialysis technologist program, the decision to improve the educational process began to take shape and grow. Delmon Medical College partnered with Center for Renal Replacement in an effort to give students quality instruction that starts in the classroom and continues on the dialysis floor.
Fact is, that young people who have attended at least one year of post-secondary college education earn thousands of dollars more a year than those who don’t. If a student spends even one year in a certificate program at a career college after he/she graduates from high school, he or she will very likely earn higher wages right after completing his/her program of study. The same applies to adults who decide to change careers. By furthering their education, they will be better-prepared to successfully navigate the world of work, and find a good paying job.
N.G: How are the new programs offered at Delmon preparing students to become successful in the competitive medical technology field?
M.L: At Delmon Medical College, your chosen career path is within reach. Students go directly from the classroom to externship to certification to find a better future. Working in the medical field can be very rewarding, but at times it can be tough, especially for those who never worked in the field. We know that education and training are important factors in helping those who want to start a new career as a dialysis technician or medical assistant.
Our goals are to help the young generation of students to stay in school, and to draw back to school mid-life adults, and to help both groups get into a new career. There are plentiful jobs available to those who achieve national certifications through Delmon’s programs. Those certificates are keys to opening rewarding careers that can both support a family, and give you a satisfying feeling of doing good for others.
N.G: In which way is Delmon Medical College unique — different from other medical schools in the area?
M.L: Delmon Medical College is unique because of our small-class, hands-on experience. We genuinely care about about every student. What makes learning at Delmon Medical College a great experience are the fully equipped labs, where students can practice and apply the skills studied during the classroom instruction. For example, there are only eight seats available in the dialysis program because we want all our students to have ample access to key equipment, and have the instructor’s full attention.
Delmon Medical College is the only college in the Chicago area with access to a dialysis water purification room. Why is this important? Because people with kidney failure cannot be dialyzed on tap water. Dialysis units have a very complex water purification system to eliminate harmful bacteria and chemicals from the patient’s water, making it safe for the dialysis treatment. It is a great benefit for the students to learn the importance and how-to of Water Treatment both in the classroom and hands-on. At Delmon, students apply the skills studied during classroom instruction.
Another unique Delmon feature is that dialysis students will do their required externship at our sister facility, the Center for Renal Replacement, immediately after they are completing their classroom instruction. There is no waiting time for students to start their externships. We began with two programs: Dialysis Technologist Training Program and Medical Assistant Diploma Training Program, and in 2020 we will start the Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program. As we grow we are going to add more programs.
N.G: From your experience, what are the biggest challenges for a new institution like Delmon Medical College?
M.L: For a new college like ours, a major challenge is helping students pay for their programs. As a new institution, we do not have access to government funds, which makes it difficult to attract students. However, in an effort to help students pay for their studies, we offer several financial options: The Dr. James Yeung Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 is available for all students. We also offer payment plans and private student loans.
We are ready to start our new dialysis and medical assistant program in February 2020. To help potential students with their tuition we decided to offer $1500 Discount for those that will register before the end of January 2020.
N.G: What motivates you personally to be part of the Delmon Medical College staff, and what is your background before coming to Delmon?
M.L: I identify myself with a lot of my past and present students. I started working in dialysis many years ago, right after I came to United States. I never dreamed of working in the medical field. I always dreamed of becoming a teacher, but for a lot of reasons my life took me on a different path. Once I accepted a job as a dialysis technician, and once I started working on the floor, interacting with patients everything changed. The simple revelation that I was there for my patients made me fall in love with dialysis. While I was working, I went back to school, and as soon as I finished my Bachelor’s degree, I applied for a job as a dialysis instructor.
N.G: Who are the candidate students you are reaching out to? Who do you think fits best for your college?
M.L: Delmon Medical College is accepting students from all walks of life. All we ask is that they have a high school diploma or equivalent, and that they fully commit to devoting the necessary time and energy to succeeding in the process of preparing for certification. In addition to recent high school grads, we also are looking for people already working in the medical field — CNAs, for example — who want to advance their careers.
At Delmon Medical College, we believe in the power of Education; yes, education with capital E). I strongly believe that Education opens the doors to a wonderful future. My advice for those who cannot decide if they want to pay for their Education or not, would be to make an effort. It will be worth it in the long run. Delmon Medical College will help you achieve your goals, and dreams. I would be more than happy to help you chose the right program for you, and guide you along the way.
At the end of our first year, I would like to show gratitude and bring thanks to those that make this dream come true: Dr. James Yeung, Ted Simmons and Richard DelValle, as well as the entire team of educators that made our students experience at Delmon Medical College a success.
We are inviting you to visit our campus and meet us. For more information please call 847-675-6295 or go to our website: www.delmonmedicalcollege.com