Pathways: VESL Health Care

The purpose of this 14-week training is to introduce non-native English speakers to employment opportunities in the health care industry. Participants must have a minimum of basic speaking, reading and writing skills sufficient for communicating in a health care environment. The course will focus on a cluster of entry-level jobs and introduce students to the skills, communication, safety issues and career paths related to each job. The following jobs will be explored: medical office clerk, physical therapy aide, community health, alternative health assistant, and other assorted entry-level jobs. Students ultimately will select a potential job path based on skill level, language level and interest.

The class will also cover customer service, medical terminology, hospital culture, basic computer instruction and job readiness issues. Field trips to local health care facilities will be included. All students will participate in internships at local medical providers in order to get hands-on health care experience. Additionally, there will be an intensive career planning component to assist participants with their individual employment needs. There is no employment obligation on the part of the health care facilities or the program but students will be encouraged to apply for any open positions upon completion of the training.

Following classroom training and the internship, students who are not yet employed continue to meet in small groups for assistance in job search. Based on past graduates of the training, average starting wages are from $9 to $14 per hour.

Conveniently located:
Portland Community College
For more information: call 971-722-6218 or email here.


  • ESL Vocational Health Care is listed on the State of Oregon Eligible Training Provider List.
  • This non-credit course is approved as a State of Oregon Occupational Preparatory course.
  • The training includes classroom instruction, internships, job search and placement services.

Cost of Training: Health Care Cost Sheet FY 11-12

Totals for Tuition and Books: 
PCC-DWP and One Stop participants in Multnomah and Washington Counties  $ 2,875 (Additional Costs including books, TB screening and parking not included in tuition; please refer to cost sheet). Books are (approx) $212.70.
Non-PCC affiliated and 3rd party students  $ 2,880 (Additional Costs including books, TB screening and parking not included in tuition; please refer to cost sheet). Books are (approx) $212.70

Classroom: 17.5 hours per week

  • Keyboarding
  • MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Internet navigation
  • Hospital and clinic culture
  • Medical terminology
  • HIPAA/Privacy Protection
  • CPR card (First Aid)
  • Customer service
  • Workplace communication
  • Safety procedures
  • Career Planning:
    • Job applications
    • Resumes
    • Cover letters
    • Interview practice
    • Videotaped mock interviews

Internship: Approximately 12 hours per week

  • Unpaid work experience
  • Various work environments:
    • Medical records clerk
    • Admissions clerk
    • Patient services
    • Hospital Material Services
    • Alternative and Community Health

Job Search: 6-12 hours per week

  • Job search strategies and techniques
  • Individualized one-on-one assistance in job search
  • Customized cover letters and resumes for each position

What should I do next to get into the training?

For program information: call 971-722-6218 or email here.