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High school students experience “A Day in the Life …”

Group photo

Pictured at the April 11 “A Day in the Life” event are, from left: Mikaila Kyle-Murphy, Emily Henning, Madison Van Heiden, Adam Long, Abbie Young, Addison Johnson, Jena Loyd, Ashley Heitland, Danielle Tireman (front), Jessica Pettus (back), Maggie Thielen, Katie Schlachter, Megan Carr, and Aimee Ferriss. Not pictured: Morgan Holm, Piper Mulford and Jordan Kurth.

One of the best ways to learn about careers is to meet and talk with professionals in their actual workplace, particularly through a “job shadowing” kind of experience. A group of 17 Hardin County high school students interested in healthcare careers got that opportunity (and then some) at a unique “Day in the Life” event this week at Hansen Family Hospital. They followed a simulated car accident victim as she encountered a variety healthcare professionals from Emergency Responders to Nurses, Doctors, a Lab Technician, a Radiologist, a Life Flight crew and many others.

The “Day in the Life” event was co-sponsored by Ellsworth Community College, Hansen Family Hospital and Iowa Valley Continuing Education.

The high school participants, all juniors and seniors from AGWSR, Iowa Falls-Alden and South Hardin High Schools, were hand-picked by their guidance counselors because of their interest in healthcare careers. One student said that after spending the day learning about the variety of careers available in healthcare, she had changed her mind about her future career plans and will investigate a different area of study within the healthcare setting.

“This was a great opportunity for our students to see all the healthcare positions available, and to learn a little bit about each of them,” said Michelle Kriegel, IFAHS Counselor. “I think it served to really open their minds to the variety of careers available within the realm of healthcare services. Many of the students we selected to participate today are already enrolled or have taken the Certified Nurse Aide course through the high school, so they’ve demonstrated at a young age that their long-term interests are definitely in the field of healthcare.”

From 9 am to noon the students were at Hansen Family Hospital, where they toured the facilities and heard from an EMT, Paramedic, ER Nurses, an ER Physician, Radiologist, Phlebotomist, Lab Technician, Patient Care Technician, Hospitalist, Pharmacist, Pharmacy Technician, Life Flight Nurse, and Life Flight Paramedic. The speakers all talked about the scope of their work and the education and training required. The Life Flight crew made a special trip to Iowa Falls from Mason City to be part of the event.

Following lunch at Ellsworth Community College, the students heard from Molly Hippen, IVCE Pathway Navigator, and Linda Hanson, Associate Dean of Health Occupations, and received information about training and salaries associated with various healthcare careers and the local and statewide educational opportunities available. The day ended with a tour of the ECC campus.

“We hope that this will be the first of many events like this over the next several years,” said Hippen. “There’s just no substitute for spending time in a healthcare setting and giving the high school students the opportunity to hear first-hand from these professionals about what they do and why they love their jobs. The students were clearly impressed by those they met and what they heard!”

With ambulance crew

Three of the high school students helped the Eldora ambulance crew put the patient onto a backboard before loading her into the ambulance at the Hansen Family Hospital. Eldora EMS Director/Paramedic Corey Larson and Kristin Brady, Paramedic/Crew Chief, demonstrated how some of their equipment works and discussed the training involved for those in their line of work.

In the emergency room

Emergency Room Nurse Maggie Jackson explained what happens in the ER and how patients are received, diagnosed, treated, and moved to the next phase in the healthcare process.

In radiology

Radiology Technician Nicki Prochaska talked to students about the equipment at the hospital and the training she received to become a radiology tech.

Learning about Life Flight

A Life Flight Paramedic and Flight Nurse talked about their responsibilities for assessing each new patient and how they work to stabilize and transport patients in a variety of different scenarios.

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