Stu­dents get closer look at health-care careers

Class at Massey sec­ondary school gives stu­dents closer look at med­i­cal careers

Windsor Star - - FRONT PAGE - MARY CATON mca­ton@post­media.com

In­stead of cracking a sci­ence text­book, a class of Massey sec­ondary school stu­dents open boxes of stetho­scopes and blood pres­sure cuffs.

In this new health-care class, they are learn­ing by do­ing. “Some of the stuff they teach here we don’t learn in bio,” said 17-year-old Adam Shedeed, who plans on be­com­ing a doc­tor. “It’s re­ally rel­e­vant to health care and it will help me get ahead (in univer­sity).”

One end of the class­room fea­tures hos­pi­tal beds, an exam ta­ble and a few wheel­chairs, much of it do­nated by lo­cal hos­pi­tals and health-care providers. “This course of­fers the fun­da­men­tals in health care,” said teacher Jeff Char­ron, who is also a prac­tis­ing chi­ro­prac­tor. “It al­lows them to have the op­por­tu­nity to see first-hand if this is the type of ca­reer they want to go into.” Next door, teacher Zor­ica Pri­morac con­ducts an­other class. She used to work as a den­tal hy­gien­ist.

Class­room lead­ers must have five years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the health-care field and an ac­tive teach­ing cer­tifi­cate.

They of­fer stu­dents a chance to learn about the skills nec­es­sary for a ca­reer as a den­tist, doc­tor, geron­tol­o­gist, lab tech­ni­cian, nurse, phar­ma­cist or child-care worker.

“It’s a lot of hands-on op­por­tu­ni­ties,” said 16-year-old Huda Man­foukh, who plans to pur­sue a ca­reer in pe­di­atric nurs­ing. “The other classes, we’re learn­ing the ma­te­ri­als but we’re not prac­tis­ing it like this.”

Sharon Pyke, the su­per­in­ten­dent for stu­dent well-be­ing with the Greater Es­sex County District School Board, sat in on a class last fall.

“It’s a very in­ter­ac­tive course,” she said. “It re­ally gives the stu­dents a taste of what the stud­ies will be like af­ter high school and a sense of the skills they’ll need. “I like that they prac­tise the skills in a col­lab­o­ra­tive fash­ion. That’s where health care is right now, it’s about the team­work. It’s quite well done.”

Massey is the only lo­cal high school of­fer­ing the course. Prin­ci­pal Joan Rankin felt it would be “a good ad­di­tion” to the school’s spe­cial­ist high skills ma­jor (SHSM) pro­gram­ming around health and well­ness.

“It’s train­ing with ac­tual equip­ment and ter­mi­nol­ogy,” Rankin said. “It’s very real and it’s very much what they would be do­ing in that field.”

Massey of­fered the pro­gram for the first time last year to four classes. There are now 10 classes with a strong pos­si­bil­ity of more to come based on stu­dent de­mand next year.

A group of 66 stu­dents was part of a provincewide com­pe­ti­tion re­cently in Toronto for fu­ture health-care pro­fes­sion­als. Grade 12 stu­dent Haiqa Arain won a gold medal for her pre­sen­ta­tion in­volv­ing an eye exam. The would-be op­tometrist has qual­i­fied for an in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion this June in Dal­las. Shedeed was part of a bronzemedal win­ning team along with Na­mashi Si­varam and Arian Pakray, who used cre­ative prob­lem-solv­ing around a spe­cific health-care ini­tia­tive re­lated to ed­u­ca­tion. Two other stu­dents, Sevda Saa­dat and Lana Milidrag, won a sil­ver medal in crit­i­cal think­ing skills re­lated to first aid and car­diopul­monary re­sus­ci­ta­tion (CPR). Man­foukh wasn’t part of the com­pe­ti­tion but she plans to join next year when she will take the Grade 12 health-care class. “It’s all in­ter­est­ing,” she said. “Dr. Char­ron is very pas­sion­ate about health care him­self and it just makes you more in­trigued to learn about it.”

DAN JANISSE

Jeff Char­ron, a teacher at Vin­cent Massey Sec­ondary School, watches stu­dent Salma Ghanem, left, as she takes the blood pres­sure of fel­low stu­dent Emily Le­je­une on Mon­day as part of a new prac­ti­cal health-care sci­ence class.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.