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Central Arizona Valley
Institute of Technology

Clinics Are Back at CAVIT!

Two students working on a dental patient in the CAVIT clinic

Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology's (CAVIT) established vision is education with a purpose. One of the leading ways CAVIT fulfills this vision is through student-run clinics. Work-based learning opportunities are a unique benefit for students, and CAVIT has implemented five clinics designed to provide students with on-the-job training. Those five clinics include an animal day spa, dental clinic, hair and nail clinic, massage spa, and wellness clinic. 

Last school year, clinics took a hiatus due to the emergence of COVID-19. This school year CAVIT is thrilled to reopen clinics for its students and the community!  

Transitioning from learning skills in a classroom to applying them in a workplace can be daunting. CAVIT bridges this gap with clinics. Students have the luxury of working in a setting that mimics the careers they are studying. Cosmetology instructor Amanda Diesing says, "We are set up exactly like a salon. Students follow through with services from start to finish." It is a great benefit for students to be completely immersed in their chosen field.

Clinics give students the chance to discover what their future career entails, allowing them to experience so much more than just the curriculum taught in class. Being hands-on with their line of work can either affirm a student's career choice or be a factor for change. Medical Assisting instructor Belinda Long says, "These clinics give [students] a real-life feel for what they will be doing." She continues, "Not all students will end up liking the medical field."  

One of the leading skills learned from clinics is teamwork and communication. It is a time for instructors to take a step back and allow the students to show what they have learned. Collaboration becomes key as they help each other work through real-life scenarios. Ms. Long explained that during clinics, she assigns team managers who are tasked with assessing needs and helping fellow peers. This chain of command allows for fluid communication amongst the students. 

A student's role during clinics is to practice their technical skills through the service they provide. Equally important is learning the art of customer service. Developing the ability to engage and bond with customers is difficult to learn without practice. Holding clinics provides students with recurring opportunities to associate with the community and to dive deeper into their customer service skills.

Coolidge residents, Jan and Larry Trousdale are frequent visitors of the CAVIT clinics. This duo has utilized the animal day spa, hair/nail clinic, and massage spa for four years. According to them, it appears the students are doing a fantastic job when it comes to service! 

Jan says, "[The students] have an excellent way of making you feel really comfortable. They are professional and greet you with a smile."  

Clinic days are beloved by students, teachers, and the community. When students provide services, their technical skills increase, and so does their bond with community members. Ms. Diesing says, "Our community members are great. We have a lot of return clients. It gets the students excited that they came back!" It is a tremendous advantage for CAVIT students to experience this special type of training while simultaneously serving their community. 

When it comes to what students enjoy the most about clinics, Ms. Long notes, "They get excited about working with actual patients." And from a teacher's perspective, Ms. Long enjoys "seeing [student's] confidence grow!"

The overall impact clinics have on everyone involved is astounding. CAVIT offers all the tools needed for their students to succeed long-term in a career they love. Teachers get to witness the technological growth of their students. The community experiences quality service that is cost-effective. In regards to these great deals offered by CAVIT's clinics, Ms. Diesing remarks, "We offer the services at such a low price! We even offer free haircuts." She continues, "It's a great way to help the community out." 

The resurgence of CAVIT's clinics has been long-awaited by students and the Pinal County community! Exciting and prosperous times lie ahead for all involved. 

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