Sophomore and junior Health Pathway students at all three Westerville High Schools were immersed in unforgettable, authentic learning experiences as they participated in the first annual Skills Lab on March 19 and 20.
Jeff Coffman, President of CME Procedures, and his team of 14 colleagues from Mount Carmel St. Ann’s and Mid-Ohio Emergency Services led students as they learned how to drain an abscess and intubate a patient – two skills commonly performed by health professionals. Students then applied their knowledge as they practiced each skill using the same tools and models used in the medical field. One Central sophomore noted, “I really liked the intubation lab, as it was fascinating to have an experience that is so common in the Emergency Room.”
The lab also included a panel discussion with the health professionals. Pupils learned about potential career paths and the preparation needed to follow them; the responsibilities of health professionals in various roles; and what a typical day in the life of a health professional entails. They gained insight into the differences between physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and physicians, as well as learned about administrative and leadership roles available in the health system. “One of the most surprising things I learned,” said a junior at North, “were all the different paths that people took to get to where they are today.”
The Skills Lab experience was developed when teachers and local health professionals convened this past fall as the Health Pathway Advisory Committee. Charged with brainstorming ideas on how to connect high school students with health professionals, the group collaborated throughout the year to coordinate multiple classroom speakers, student observations, and hands-on learning.
If you are interested in participating on a Westerville Pathway Advisory Committee, please contact Anne Baldwin, Career Tech & College Readiness Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614/378-3075.
For more information about Westerville’s Career Pathways, please visit http://www.westerville.k12.oh.us/administration/74.