Monday, March 04, 2019
by Patty Johnson • email@example.com
BJC | After visiting the Washington University Medical Campus to explore health care career opportunities in late 2018, a group of high school students soon returned — this time to give back.
The students are part of the South Technical High School health sciences program, a two-year program that allows students to earn their certified nurse assistant (CNA) certification at the end of their senior year.
The students’ medical center visit, classroom presentations and other career exploration opportunities at BJC are coordinated by Jennifer Irvin, BJC School Outreach and Youth Development school-community education partner. The goal is to provide in-depth learning experiences for the students.
Three South Tech instructors oversee about 30 juniors and 34 seniors in the health sciences program. “Our health sciences major immerses students into health care through in-class lab and patient care experiences, high-level academic coursework in anatomy and physiology, and clinical rotations at area hospitals and long-term care facilities,” says Louvenia Jones, RN, BSN, South Technical High School health science instructor.
Jones also teaches a one-year medical services program that’s currently in its development phase. “It’s a health care exploratory program for non-traditional roles in health care,” she says.
Her students visited the medical campus in November to tour Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.
“The students were very excited about visiting St. Louis Children’s Hospital,” Jones says. “They saw opportunities that don’t usually come to mind when people think about health care. We visited areas where they saw that they can have different career paths in health care, other than being a doctor or nurse.”
After the visit, Jones’ students — 10 health sciences students and three medical services students — wanted to give back, so they decided to make blankets to deliver to patients at SLCH. Jones reached out on behalf of the students, and Irvin connected her to Sarah Weyhrich, SLCH clinical education specialist, who coordinated the blanket donation.
“The idea for the blanket project came from one of the students,” says Jones, who encourages her students to do a community service project every year. “All of the students wanted to make an item for children that they would be able to curl up with and take home at the end of their hospital stay.”
The students who were able to donate toward the materials did so with their own money, and Jones donated the rest. The students then bought the fabric, assembled the blankets, packaged and decorated the blankets, and made tags for the packages.
“It was an awesome team-building activity,” Jones says. “The students really bonded — and in a very special way because they knew what they were doing was going to kids who were ill and would appreciate their efforts. I think it made them work even harder to make the blankets be special.
“St. Louis Children’s Hospital staff and BJC do so much for the community,” Jones adds. “It was our opportunity to show appreciation and to show that we care about people, especially young people. We try to instill in all of our students that we are in the caring business, and we want new generations of health care providers to really enjoy what they do — and really care about people.”
And that’s exactly what these future health care providers demonstrated by giving their time, talents and resources to make a difference for some of BJC’s youngest patients.
Number of views (955)/Comments (1)
3/7/2019 9:23 PM
I love this idea! My family member was a patient at Children's Hospital when she was very young. They gave her a blanket while we were in the ED and she still has it! It's on her bed right now and that was 15 years ago!