High School Students Get a Health Career Preview at Annual ‘Boot Camp’

by Diane VanDyke

Area high school students received a preview of numerous health care careers during a Health Career Boot Camp held on Nov. 11 at the College’s Central and West campuses.

The Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and the Montgomery County Education and Workforce Partnership (EWP) partnered with the College in sponsoring this event.

The WIB strives to increase awareness of workforce development issues and to strengthen the County’s workforce development system through partnerships with businesses and government and community-based organizations.  Organized for educational purposes, EWP increases the options for school districts, students and parents in sharpening their focus on potential careers.

Students spent the morning rotating through the classrooms of different health care programs to learn about the professions, the classes and career opportunities.  They also met the instructors and some of the students enrolled in the programs and were able to ask questions and learn firsthand what each field requires.

“This is a great opportunity for the students to explore different career opportunities in the medical field,” said Molly Callaghan, a 10th grade teacher at Norristown High School.

At Central Campus, 52 students learned about the Dental Hygiene, Exercise Science, Holistic Health, Medical Assisting, Medical Lab Technician and Nursing programs. They had the opportunity to learn through hands-on activities using some of the equipment used during the program. In the clinical lab, for example, students learned about microbiology and hematology by using microscopes to view prepared slides.

At West Campus, 43 students learned about the Medical Assisting, Nutritional Science, Radiography and Surgical Technology programs. Among other hands-on activities, students assessed x-rays films identifying different body structures and artifacts and explored a simulated Operating Room where they learned about surgical stapling that is used to hold wounds together during healing

“I thought it was great to hear about the different career fields and the programs, as well as the jobs that are available and their salaries,” said Celeste Bouie, a Norristown High School student who would like to attend Montgomery County Community College to be a nurse.

“This was very helpful, and after three years of trying to decide, I have finally made up mind that I want to be a nurse after seeing the nursing program here,” said Ashley Harrington of Roosevelt High School.

An essential component of each of the College’s health career programs is the use of on-campus simulated skills development laboratories and/or clinics where students can learn and practice skills in safe environment.

All programs, with the exception of Dental Hygiene, provide students with extensive learning experiences in off-campus clinical sites at more than 85 agencies. The Dental Hygiene program offers an on-campus Dental Hygiene clinic where students practice and refine their skills.

The College’s health career programs provide opportunities for students to successfully secure employment in high-demand healthcare fields.

High school students learn about careers in Medical Assisting. Photo by Matt Porter

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