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Hartselle Enquirer

Career skill building while in high school

Cutline for female with IV pic- Senior Kristen Gerstman practices putting in an IV during the healthcare presentation at the nursing station on Jan. 12. | Special to the Enquirer
Cutline for female with IV pic- Senior Kristen Gerstman practices putting in an IV during the healthcare presentation at the nursing station on Jan. 12. | Special to the Enquirer

Lauren Estes

Hartselle Enquirer

High school students are preparing for future healthcare related careers with internship opportunities now offered during school hours.

Two-dozen students took part in sharing about their Healthcare studies with middle school students on Wednesday during an event held at the Hartselle Junior High library. Among the students was Hartselle eleventh grader Carrie Hanners who said the program started for her in 10th grade with a foundation class and she quickly loved the opportunity to grow in her knowledge of becoming a labor and delivery nurse.

“I’m a junior now and we get to have shadowing opportunities, go off site for a clinical or working at a dentist office, depending on what area of healthcare you’re following,” Hanners said. “This really opens up a lot of opportunities for us because it gives us practice in our potential career field. For me, I can help in a hospital room, change bedding, watch a live birth if that’s something that is going on at the time that I’m there. I can’t do anything evasive, but I do get a lot of practice on the side of a labor and delivery nurse, which is what I want to do.”

Hanners said these classes don’t interfere with her extra curricular activities, but have definitely opened up her eyes to college classes, post college graduation jobs and what she will be doing with her job daily.

“Being able to practice in the career path that I want to be in will help me be a step ahead when I’m in college and even when I’m applying for jobs after college,” Hanners said. “This program shows me things I will be doing on a daily basis in the future and so when the time comes for me to study it full-time after high school, it won’t be new to me. I play sports and am involved in other things, and it’s not hard to do both the internship class and continue with your normal activities.”

During the healthcare event, seven areas were represented including: Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Nursing, Emergency medical response, lab science, medicine and veterinary science. Students from each category were there to share about their field and the responsibilities they have.

Instructor Lynn Shelton is both a nurse at Huntsville Hospital and a teacher at Hartselle High School. She is able to share the best of both worlds with students who might want to work in different areas of the health field.

“I have learned so much while working as a nurse and now I can bring it back to the students,” Shelton said. “I love to teach, but I also missed the hands on opportunities while working in the NICU unit which is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. There are so many students interested in the whole spectrum of healthcare. This allows students to zone in on what they are interested and find out if that is something they want to do as their career. I’ve had several students have early admission into medical school from this program.”

These classes allow students to have two days in the classroom and three days with clinical experience or in a lab relative to their field of study.

“I love knowing the kids have an opportunity to be involved with this program because this allows them to know if this career is what they want to do early on,” Shelton said.

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