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Polk County High School Introduction to Medical Science students complete job shadowing

Polk County High School students in teacher Cam Lawrences Introduction to Medical Science class completed job shadowing with area health care facilities earlier this semester that resulted in meaningful experiences for the students who also gained valuable insights into potential careers.

After reviewing their experiences with her sophomore and junior students, Lawrence was struck by how meaningful the job shadowing had been for them. The professionals my students worked with provided quality, real-world learning for these students, she says. I think many of them came away with distinct, positive impressions of health care professions.

Each student spent the better part of a workday with local and regional nurses, social workers, chiropractors, mid wives, pharmacists, veterinarians and special education teachers. Whether the students observed surgeries, ultrasounds, medicine distribution, or the simple, caring contact between health care provider and patient, the students say that the experience gave them insight into the real world of health careers.

Shadowing really has given me a feel for my future job, says junior Kara Garvin who completed her experience at St. Lukes Hospital. It shows me more about what Ill be doing and its a lot better than reading about it in a book. You get to see how things really are.

The whole experience was amazing, says sophomore Kathryn Smith, who completed her job shadowing in St. Lukes Hospitals geriatric-psych unit. I learned so much about the possible causes of a patients psychological state and I found the team treatment session to be a very meaningful part of the experience.

Sophomore Savannah Callahan says that she enjoyed meeting the unique and complex patients when she shadowed a medicine nurse and social worker in the unit. Its been so good to be able to go and get to know the different patients, she says. This experience has really increased my interest in this field.

The (surgical) staff (at St. Lukes Hospital) was kind and I enjoyed learning about the different procedures, says sophomore Jake Hrobak, who observed two surgeries during his job shadowing.

The students say that it was very encouraging to see how happy their mentors were about their daily tasks and how these tasks were filled with compassion for their patients. The most meaningful part of the experience to me was to see how much the nurses cared about their patients, says Garvin.

Getting to see and appreciate what the doctors and nurses do for people and how it puts a smile on their faces was very meaningful to me, agrees junior Rolanda Dawkins.

These shadowing experiences are central to our students health occupations education and they provide realistic glimpse of the careers the students are interested in, says Lawrence. We appreciate these professionals willingness to work with our students.

Introduction to Medical Science is the first course in Polk County High Schools Medical Science program, which provides students with an education of the human anatomy and physiology, real-world medical experience and possibly the qualifications to leave high school with certification in a field where they can find work anywhere, any time of the day with above-minimum-wage pay as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Last school year, 100 percent of the programs CNA students passed the exam for certification and earned their certification.