Hands-On Learning Introduces Students to Healthcare Careers
From crash carts, blood pressure cuffs and intubation equipment to codes, chest compressions and airway blockages, students from the Southeast High School Health and Science Academy recently packed a lot into their four hours in the simulation labs at the Memorial Learning Center.
“I thought it was a really cool experience,” said Sabina Ernst, 17, a junior who is considering a career in the medical or forensic science field. “I liked learning CPR the best. Looking at the manikin, I thought it would be harder than it actually was.”
Students were first introduced to an ambulance simulator and simulated home environment. Then they learned the order and procedures of a mock code. They practiced skills related to taking vital signs, conducting CPR and assisting someone in respiratory distress. At the end, each student practiced treating a manikin in a mock code.
Some students are still considering what type of education or training they want to pursue after graduation. Others, like Savannah Knox, 15, a sophomore, are mapping out a potential path into the medical field. Savannah is active in the Health and Science Academy and plans to become an anesthesiologist.
Stacey Hull, manager of Workforce Planning and Development for Memorial Health, is always looking for new ways for the healthcare organization to connect with high school students. Partnering with the Southeast Health and Science Academy was a natural fit.
“Our goal is to help students access and understand healthcare careers and see firsthand all the available options for future education and employment opportunities,” she said. “These students were able to interact with our experts while utilizing state-of-the-art simulation technology. The range of questions the students asked after participating in the final mock code really impressed our instructors.”
The interactive experience was the result of a partnership between Memorial Health and Springfield District 186 and Southeast High School to support health science programming and introduce students to careers in the healthcare field. The award-winning simulation labs at the Memorial Learning Center are primarily used by medical professionals at the SIU School of Medicine and Memorial Health to stay current on certifications, practice new skills and maintain existing skills at a high level.
Jason Potter is a science and biomedical instructor at Southeast High School. He was thrilled at what the students were able to experience during their time in the simulation labs.
“The students see things they won’t normally see,” he said. “They are putting in trach tubes in one room, practicing CPR on actual manikins in another. Just being able to use the CPR manikin is more than we are able to offer them.”