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Medical Professions provides students with real-world experiences and opportunities
June 10, 2019
by Ana Vuvunikyan
Normandy High School
The Parma City School District offers a variety of Career and Tech programs, which allow students to take related certificate tests at the end of the course. However, there are more benefits to such programs than being able to take a test.
Take the Medical Professions program, located at Normandy High School, for example.
Medical Professions is available to students from throughout the PCSD and offers four different programs students can pick from, taught by four different teachers. The first year is set in rotations, where one class travels from teacher to teacher, spending a few weeks studying a particular human body system.
“There are multiple benefits to obtaining an STNA (State Tested Nursing Assistant) certification through the Medical Professions program,” Melanie O’Callahan, one of the Medical Professions teachers explained. “Students are able to start working as soon as they complete the program in a variety of healthcare settings. For some, this will be their career. For many, this will be a stepping stone to lead to a Nursing or Physician Assistant career.”
In order to join the STNA program their senior year, students must first shadow an STNA for 20 hours. O’Callahan clearly presents students with an opportunity to finish the required hours within the first month of school, and even offers students help to find a facility to shadow an employee.
Overall, O’Callahan encourages students to pursue medicine, especially the STNA program, by talking about the most important reason for joining the medical workforce.
“The best benefit from being an STNA is the feeling you get when you know you have helped someone who is not feeling well and made a difference in their day, maybe their life," O’Callahan expressed.
In the second quarter, all interested students are welcomed into Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and are signed up to become full members. This allows them to enter competitions related to HOSA, with plenty of categories to compete in, in a variety of creatives ways. From creating a poster, to handing in an essay, giving a speech or taking a knowledge test, there are many ways for a student to show what they know.
Kali Spooner, the Medical teacher running the Medical Assisting program, told her students about HOSA and the overall mood of the competition.
“I attended HOSA International Leadership Conference (ILC) at Disney with a student two years ago, and he placed third in Biomedical Laboratory Science,” Spooner expressed. “It was a remarkable experience to get to talk with and see so many competitors who were so gifted and passionate about the medical field.”
In addition, the Medical Professions teachers often advocate for students seeking to work in the field. Recently, students were told about an internship based in Cleveland Clinic Hospitals. Students were able to receive advice and tips on writing a cover letter, as well as navigating the internship website to find which internship worked best for them.
“In Medical, we strive to expose our students to the most current real-world information we can,” Sara Boone, Medical Professions teacher explained. “On top of extensive career exploration during their junior year, we also provide our students with a field trip to the medical examiner’s office and a morgue, with people from the industry.”
Many students applied for and were accepted to a variety of different internship opportunities this year, securing a summer job in the field.
Having support and help of teachers who worked in a medical field helps students realize a lot about their desired profession while learning about themselves.
“Senior year, students and teachers work collaboratively to set the classroom direction and instruction that covers the students' interests,” Terri Morgan, Medical Professions teacher explained.
For example, Morgan’s course offers a flexible schedule, with different learning styles based on student’s comfort. This helps mimic the more communicable college environment and medical work environment, bringing an advantage to those who plan on working at such a pace.
Overall, all four teachers encourage students to gain more experience and learn more about the industry. The opportunity to immerse students into the field helps them decide on their future medical career and creates a way for students to gain real-life benefits.
Even if students choose not to enroll in Medical Professions their senior year, the knowledge gained in classes can carry through and be used outside of class, benefitting students throughout their entire life.
PHOTO CAPTION: Medical Professions teacher Terri Morgan, center, is one of four teachers that students can learn from in the program. Students in Medical Professions have the ability to learn in a wide variety of medical areas.