Monday, January 07, 2019
by Eric Lemmo • email@example.com
BJWCH | In January, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital welcomed its 100th Pre-Professional Health Sciences Academy (PPHSA) student. The PPHSA is a partnership between Parkway School District, Special School District, BJC School Outreach and Youth Development, and BJWCH.
Prior to arriving on the BJWCH campus, the Parkway High School seniors spent a full semester learning medical terminology, human anatomy and body systems. Students also learned the physiology behind and how to evaluate vital signs, learned how to move patients and spent time discussing ethical issues in medicine.
While at BJWCH, students rotate through 17 different departments. Each student spends close to three hours shadowing a hospital professional and learns about each department and function, and its impact on patient care.
“Every encounter with the pre-professional student gives me an opportunity to show them an aspect of professional nursing and connect with them in a meaningful way,” says Pat Hill, RN, BJWCH emergency department. “The students bring a high level of engagement and curiosity during their shadowing experience. My favorite quote from one of the students was: “When you’re a nurse, you know that you will touch a life or a life will touch you.”
Some students enter the program with a career goal in mind. For others, the exposure to many different careers offers the opportunity to narrow their focus. Students see first-hand how different disciplines work together to better serve patients.
“I was able to see how medical professionals conduct themselves with a difficult patient,” says Katherine Hanselman, a former student who is now on the pre-med track at the University of Kansas. “Although I don’t think I want to be a nurse, the nurse I was shadowing stayed calm and didn’t get angry or frustrated.”
In addition to helping students solidify their career interests, BJC School Outreach and Youth Development tracks students after high school graduation and through college. As students graduate and earn their professional licenses, they are directed to representatives from human resources, hopefully connecting back to the BJWCH or BJC family, this time as an employee.
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