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Health Careers

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Health Careers

Health Careers

The Purchase AHEC works with middle & high school students to increase awareness of health career options among young people. The goal is that exposure to these career opportunities will result in an increase in the numbers and improved distribution of health professionals in western Kentucky in the future. A wide array of activities are available to expose students to medical careers including:

Laparoscopic Surgery Simulation

The Purchase Area Health Education Center (AHEC), in conjunction with West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) Surgical Tech Program have been presenting Laparoscopic Surgery Simulation workshops to 9-12th grade students since February of 2000. The AHEC Health Educator along with WKTC instructor, Debbie Swain and the surgical technician students, present this hands-on activity. This workshop provides middle and high school students the opportunity to learn about this surgical technique, while allowing the college students the opportunity to put their knowledge to work instructing others.

The activity begins with the Health Career Coordinator discussing the anatomy of the abdominal organs such as the gallbladder and it's uses and functions. This leads the students into a hands-on activity called cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder). The surgical tech students set up the lab into stations and the participating students rotate through each station learning different steps and techniques of being a surgical tech in an O.R. They learn where the incisions are made for this type of surgery, the difference in an open cholecystectomy and a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The students are also taught to use surgical instruments and how to glove and gown properly to keep sterile. They then practice their surgical techniques on a simulated body cavity that is 3-D. Trying to perfect the steps, the students will then move on to a simulated body cavity that is covered but hooked up to a camera and TV monitor. This provides them with the realistic 2-D vision they would see in the O.R. The high school students are also taught how to suture which is another job duty of a surgical tech. The students learn a little anatomy; a little health and they get to explore what it would be like to be a Surgical Technician.
KY Leadership HOSA Conference March 2005 newsletter highlights presentation to professionals - see page 11

Job Shadowing

AHEC can arrange for juniors or seniors seriously interested in a health career to job shadow at some of our local hospitals, clinics and businesses. Contact Missy Stokes for more information.

Medical Puppet Presentations: The Great Hospital Adventure

This program is for grades kindergarten through 4th grade. Its key components are to promote health career awareness, encourage healthy behavior and emphasize nontraditional role models and multicultural images. It can be done for a single classroom, double classroom or large audience.

Health Professions Camps
These summer camps are for upcoming high school freshmen who are seriously interested in exploring opportunities in health careers. Camp includes hands-on experience in a variety of health fields and includes activities such as:
  • Work firsthand with a dental assistant cleaning & checking cavities on hog's teeth.
  • Learn skills required of a nurse -check blood pressure, temperature, give injections and start IVs on a simulated arm.
  • Work with a physical therapist - learn the major bones & muscles while building a skeleton.
  • Perform a simulated Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal).
For more information, contact Missy Stokes.

Health Career Exploration - Annual Fair

For 9 years, Purchase AHEC has been sponsoring a day long event to introduce upcoming high school freshmen to health careers. Students pre-selected three areas of interest and rotated through the hands-on activity stations presented by faculty and students from the participating college and university programs. Students also received information on the education and training process required to prepare them to becoming a
practicing professional. Approximately 700 students from the 12 county service area participate in this program annually.

For more information, contact Missy Stokes.

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