Junior High School Students Examine Health Professions
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Fifteen Hispanic junior high students from the Springdale School District are spending the week of June 11 learning about health care professions and visiting medical facilities and institutions of higher education.
The Area Health Education Center-Northwest in Fayetteville, an outreach program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, received a grant from the Care Foundation based in Springdale that included funds for this program to encourage members of minority groups to consider going into health care professions. The program is called Community Health Applied in Medical Public Service, or CHAMPS.
Jeff Bonacci, coordinator of the athletic training education program in the College of Education and Health Professions, will host the students at 2 p.m. Friday at the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building on the Fayetteville campus. He will talk with the students about the need to concentrate on science and math courses in high school if they are interested in pursuing a career in allied health.
"They also have to understand that these professions require compassion," said Bonacci, a clinical assistant professor. "That's a key factor in health care - you have to be concerned about somebody else's welfare."
Bonacci will talk with the students about what athletic trainers do and let them tape each others ankles. His participation was facilitated by the Professional Development Academy in the College of Education and Health Professions.
"Part of the academy's role is to provide opportunities for young people to learn about health professions," said Judith Tavano, director of the academy.
The College of Education and Health Professions includes the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, as well as programs in athletic training education, communication disorders, health science, exercise science, kinesiology, rehabilitation counseling and recreation.
This is the second summer for the AHEC program, Shope said, and students were chosen based on their grade-point average, recommendations from a teacher or counselor and whether they were taking and doing well in science and math courses.
The organizers have a full week of hands-on activities planned for the students both at the AHEC facility on Joyce Street and at health care facilities in Washington and Benton counties. They will learn about a nurse's responsibilities during a doctor's visit including taking a patient's medical and family history along with weight and vital signs; visit Northwest Arkansas Technical Institute in Springdale to learn how to scrub up for assisting in procedures, don gown and gloves and learn about surgical instruments; take a CPR class at Central Emergency Medical Services in Fayetteville; learn about optometry at Brandon Eye Clinic in Springdale; learn from a nurse the parts of a stethoscope and how to use it; visit health laboratories at NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville; learn about bone structure while an orthopedic surgeon puts casts on them; visit a dentist at the Northwest Arkansas Pediatric Dental Center in Springdale; learn from a pharmacist about the importance of medicines; and learn from a medical librarian about how to use online sources to help determine whether they want to pursue a career in the health professions.
"The students will come away knowing who to contact at all the post-secondary schools in the area," Shope said.
They will finish the week with a graduation ceremony.
Mary Ann Shope, director of advancement and public relations
Area Health Education Center-Northwest, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
(479) 521-8269, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Stambuck, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
(479) 575-3138, email@example.com