May 21, 2008 Edition

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HHS hosts Medical
Professions Career Fair

Briar Skimahorn (from left) and Lance Snyder talk to Tammy Dunigan, a lab tech and phlebotomy supervisor with St. Bernards. TD Photo ~ Gloria Wilkerson

Hoxie High School hosted a Medical Professions Career Fair for eighth through 12th graders at the Hoxie Service Center recently.

According to Darlene Shoe, Hoxie business/vocational teacher, the fair was organized to help students realize that there are many health-related professions.

"Sometimes students think of only doctors and nurses," she said. "All students are not interested in the clinical health care professions and we wanted them to realize that someone has to schedule appointments, bill the patients and code for insurance purposes, as well as the vast amount of other paper work."

Shoe said that response from the healthcare industry was fantastic.

Representatives from St. Bernards Regional Medical Center, NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, Arkansas State University, Williams Baptist College, Black River Technical College and the National Guard supplied information to the students.

In addition, Kelton Business Schools of Jonesboro informed the students of the requirements needed to work in the front office of health care.

Among displays at the fair were an "arm" to demonstrate how to begin an IV and life-like replicas of body organs for the students to see and touch.

The National Guard provided an opportunity for students to see a "medical field kit." Kelsie Jones, a Hoxie alum, who is enrolled in nursing classes at ASU, demonstrated how to take vital signs and then taught students how to take blood pressures and count for respiration and pulse.

BRTC provided a dummy that allowed students to listen to normal breathing sounds and then how breathing sounds with certain illnesses. The college also provided a machine that allowed students to assess their breathing capacity. After breathing into a tube, the computer told a student if their breathing capacity was normal or to what level it was diminished.

New program
forming at HHS

The fair was scheduled as the school is preparing to add a Health Informatics program. The program will have two pathways, the business part of healthcare and the clinical part of healthcare.

"If students stay in the program, they will complete an internship during their senior year with a partner healthcare industry," Shoe said. "This will help them to be more employable and to have background experience should they want to enter post-secondary education."

The courses that will be taught the first year are medical terminology, intro to health professions, medical business applications and human anatomy and physiology.

Students in ninth through 11th grades were given the Kuder Interest Assessment and their results were evaluated by Amanda Herring, science teacher, and Shoe.

"From those assessments, we selected those students whose interests were in health professions, human relations or business," Shoe said. "Those are the students who will be encouraged to enroll in the new program."

All students are welcome to take the courses but they will be targeting the students who have shown a specific interest.

Shoe will teach the business classes in the program, and a science teacher will teach the anatomy and physiology class. At this time, an instructor for the other courses has not been assigned.

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