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Future in Medicine

Jesi Livingston, Kelsey Bonner and Sierra Chaney (patient) demonstrate transmission based precautions. | Clif Knight

HHS students take advantage of Medical Professions Program

Hartselle High School students who choose to study for a medical career at the collegiate level will have a step up on the competition if they take advantage of a streamlined Medical Professions Program now available to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Currently, 31 students are enrolled in the program. Of that number, 23 are studying “Foundations of Medical Professions” and eight are members of the “Medical Professions Internship Class I.

Instructor Lynne Shelton observes Lucas Whitaker and Elyssa Ferguson as they demonstrate professional rescuer CPR. | Clif Knight

The program is being taught by Lynne Shelton, a registered nurse who has a background in neonatal nursing and pediatrics as well as classroom instruction. She headed up a medical academy at Sparkman High School for five years before joining the Hartselle High faculty last summer.

“Everyone in the community has been so supportive of what we’re doing,” Shelton said. “Everything we’ve asked for has been provided; Senator Arthur Orr helped us get a $2,200 grant which was used to purchase new CPR equipment; reference books and materials were purchased with a grant we received from Rep. Ed Henry; Independent Medical Care donated a fully electric hospital bed, respiratory equipment and a wheelchair; Summerford Nursing Home provided a hospital bed and wheelchair; and Hartselle Medical Center furnished various medical supplies.”

The Medical Professions Program offers a college prep sequence of courses designed to prepare students for their post secondary education in a healthcare field or entry level employment in a healthcare job.

A foundation class is offered to sophomores and juniors and its successful completion qualifies the student to receive a 1/2 health credit needed for graduation. Students prepare for the clinical portion of the program by becoming competent in blood borne pathogens, infection control, standard precautions, fire safety, body mechanics and pre- and post-procedure care guidelines. They are also certified in professional rescuer CPR for a $10 cost.

The Medical Professions Internship I class enables students to experience healthcare in the real world. Students spend two days a week in clinical and three days a week in class/lab. After passing the required competencies, students job shadow with various healthcare professions. Clinical rotations are made available at Hartselle Medical Center, Parkway Medical Center as well as Encore Rehab and local doctors, dentists and veterinarians offices. Study areas include med-surg, ICU, respiratory therapy, nursery, pediatrics, emergency departments, wound care clinic, pre-op, surgery and post anesthesia care unit. Students also do ride alongs with County EMS services.

Briley Linderman, Jordan Wallace and Ally Henson, from left, demonstrate a fire evacuation carry for bed patients who can’t walk. | Clif Knight

“I’m really excited for the students to have this opportunity,” said Shelton. “As part of the application process to professional schools, students must show a required number of hours of unpaid experience in their chosen field. We keep a student portfolio with the student’s job shadowing hours and provide it to them when they make application to the college of their choice.”

“We’re also pleased to have an articulation agreement with Calhoun Community College,” she added. “Any student that passes the internship course with an 80 average or above is eligible for two credit hours in Medical terminology through the Allied Health Department.”

Students also have the opportunity to join Health Occupations of America (HOSA). The club sponsors several community service activities during the school year, including Relay for Life and a school wide blood drive. They also take field trips to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Jesi Livingston reads from “The Language of Medicine,” a reference book purchased with funds obtained through State Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle. | Clif Knight

The Alabama chapter of HOSA holds a state leadership conference and competition every year in Montgomery.

This two-day event affords members from throughout the state to meet one another and compete for a chance to attend the National HOSA competition.

What does the program mean to its students?

“I’ve learned several things that will be helpful to me as I pursue a career in either phlebotomy or surgical assistant,” said student Jordan Wallace. “Ms. Shelton has given me some valuable guidance.”

Elyssa Ferguson added, “This class has prepared me for college study and a future career in the medical field. I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

“It’s an incredible program for anyone who is seeking a career in the medical field,” said Principal Jeff Hyche. “It exposes students to all aspects of healthcare and helps them make good decisions about the particular field that best fits their interests.”

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