Simulation gives students chance to try out health professions
HUNTINGTON — Students from the across the state finished up the hands-on St. Mary’s Health Professions Academy on Thursday with an emergency simulation at St. Mary’s Center for Education.
The fourth year of the academy gave high school students from the Tri-State and from as far as Wheeling and Musselman, West Virginia, an opportunity to see behind the scenes of the health professional world for free.
Mindy Combs, assistant professor of medical imaging at St. Mary’s, said students were CPR and first-aid certified and shadowed medical professionals.
The final emergency simulation gave students a chance to see firsthand how firefighters and EMS workers extract a victim from a car and be loaded onto a medical helicopter.
The simulation was then carried inside to the high-fidelity mannequin. The mannequin acted as the patient — talking and having his vital signs drop. A team from St. Mary’s Hospital and St. Mary’s students played the role of saving the crash “victim’s” life.
“(Students) are really excited to see the multi-faceted dynamic that we provide them every year,” Combs said.
Students said the best parts of the academy were being able to explore all the different career potentials available and learn real-world skills.
Hannah Short, a senior at Nicholas County High School, said she came to the academy to get a taste of everything and see what she would like.
“I just know my calling is to help people,” Short said. “I found out I like a little bit of everything.”
Scarlett Scarberry, a junior at Cabell Midland High School, said the academy was the chance she was looking for to explore different health professions without spending a lot of money — or any money at all.
“It’s a really good opportunity, especially for those who don’t know what they want to go into,” Scarberry said. “They give you a big overview. And if you are really good with people, and that’s something you know you want to get into, but you don’t know how, this is a really good place to start.”
Other students, like Riad Abul-Khoudoud, a sophomore at Russell High School, came to the academy with a profession already in mind. Abul-Khoudoud wants to be a family physician.
“My dad is a family physician, and I like how he works with children,” Abul-Khoudoud said. “I think I’m also good with kids.”
Abul-Khoudoud said his favorite part of the week was all the hands-on opportunities, such as learning how to give a shot, put in an IV and get CPR certified.
The academy is funded through grants, which make the week free for all students. The academy began Tuesday and finished Thursday with an ice cream social.
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