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From a Miner to a Biomedical Technician: The story of Ronnie Dotson

Ronnie Dotson, left, a 2014 graduate of the Electrical Technology program at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, shares a laugh with Professor Joe Campton in the Electronics Laboratory on the Pikeville campus of the college.  Dotson works as a biomedical technician for Phillips Electronics at Pikeville Medical Center.

 In 2010, Ronnie Dotson found himself at a critical crossroads.  

A coal miner, he had experienced the boom and busts of the coal industry.  He was laid off and looking to write the next chapter of his life. 

“I was a husband and my wife and I had bills to pay,” recalled Dotson. “I had to find work, but I was also searching for a future.” 

Dotson, 33, of Deane, Ky., took a position in housekeeping at Pikeville Medical Center and enrolled in Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s Electrical Technology program on its Pikeville campus.  During the day, he would attend classes on the Pikeville campus and at night he would work at the hospital. 

It was an unconventional road that has led to extraordinary results. 

After graduating with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Technology from BSCTC, he started looking for work in the biomedical field.  It was something that sparked an interest during his time as an employee at Pikeville Medical Center. 

Dotson was hired as a Biomedical Technician last year for Philips Electronics and works at Pikeville Medical Center.  He is a part of a team that is responsible for the repair and maintenance of all medical equipment for the 300-bed comprehensive medical center. 

“It’s fun, rewarding and very important work,” said Dotson. “No day is ever the same, and that makes the job unique and challenging.” 

Earning his degree was also a challenge, but one that was made easier by the help of Joe Compton, professor of electrical technology, and John Maynard, associate professor of electrical technology. 

“Joe and John understood the challenges I faced while working and going to school,” said Dotson. “They were tremendous in teaching me the skills I needed to work in this field.  My education at Big Sandy was top-notch, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.” 

Dotson and his wife, Gina, are expecting their first child later this year. 

“It’s an exciting time in my life,” he continued. “Going back to school was the best decision I ever made outside of marrying my wife, and I am thrilled with the doors it has opened in my career.” 

Compton said students like Dotson help forge a link between programming at the college and business and industry. 

“When our students earn a degree or credential and make their mark in the workforce, it speaks volumes about our programming,” said Compton. “That’s why so many of our students find good jobs upon the completion of our program.” 

For more information on the Electrical Technology program, contact Compton at (606) 218-1262 or email joseph.compton@kctcs.edu or Maynard at (606) 218-1264 or email john.maynard@kctcs.edu