Health science students seize rare opportunity

Claire Peralta, Staff Reporter

As a high school student, the opportunity to experience a potential future profession is rare. For students in the Health Science class, however, this is their morning job.

“The students go to the Presbyterian Hospital of Allen,” health science teacher Amy Tokarz said. “They also go to a variety of doctor’s offices, a dentist’s office, an oral surgeon’s office, and a skilled nursing facility in Wylie.”

These visits provide students with the opportunity to practice working in the medical field.

“This class actually allows us to leave the classroom and go do hands-on work,” senior Courtney Petty said. “First semester we got to go to a hospital and shadow the doctors, and this semester we’re going to nursing homes.”

 These experiences provide health science students with something many people their age would never see.

“I actually got to see a C-section a few months ago,” Petty said. “I thought I was going to be really sick, but it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.”

The students are put out of their comfort zone every day to prepare them for a potential future job.

“When they’re at the hospital, they will observe unless it’s something that they’ve been trained to do,” Tokarz said. “They will feed the patient, bathe the patient, help them use the restroom, assist with making a bed, or getting items for the nurse or other professionals when they need it. When they’re at the nursing home they do a lot more work, a lot of what we call activities of daily living.”

One of the main advantages of the class is the variety of experiences.

“You get a feel for a lot of different fields that are out there,” junior Neethu Augustine said. “You go to hospitals, nursing homes, so it helps direct you if you’re interested in the medical field.”

If health science students decide to continue in the medical field, they will often be ahead of many other students who did not have this opportunity.

“The class builds their confidence so that they are experienced in the healthcare facilities,” Tokarz said. “When they are in college or apply to medical school or physical therapy school or occupational therapy demo school, whatever they choose, they will have more experience than your average high school student.”