story was edited at 11:03 a.m. 05-10-06
by Jennifer Kowalewski
Students from area middle
schools saw health-care workers in action April 27 on a tour of
O’Bleness Memorial Hospital. The students are members of the
Science and Health Careers Club, a program supported by the
college’s Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP). HCOP acts
as a pipeline into college or health-care careers for students
who are economically or educationally disadvantaged.
The club is open to sixth,
seventh and eighth grade students from Southeastern Ohio and
sponsors activities as science and math presentations, cultural
competence sessions, job shadowing experience, health
exploration, college financial aid workshops, a precollege
workshop and field trips such as this to O'Bleness.
“For these students,
participating in an activity such as this, the tour of
O’Bleness, is a way of exploring what they might want to do with
the rest of their lives,” says Hal Patton, project BOOST
coordinator and athletic director at Vinton Middle School. “This
helps to open their eyes to what may be available to them in the
Vinton is one of four area
districts that sent about two dozen children to O’Bleness.
OU-COM provided transportation for the schools, which also
included ones in Meigs and Alexander, to the hospital
for a one-and-a-half-hour tour.
Patton says the Science and
Health Career Club at his school began nearly six years ago.
O’Bleness opened its facilities four years ago to the tour,
which gave the students the opportunity to see behind the scenes
in a hospital.
It was the first chance for
these students to see
what goes on in a hospital from the perspective of those who
make it work, Patton says, adding most found it intriguing to
see what happens in different areas of the hospital.
“We want to keep these children
interested in health careers,” says Ingrid Auguste-Keesey,
Center of Excellence for Multicultural Medicine’s interim
precollege and communications coordinator. “We want to expose
them to the great opportunities available to them. The visit
helped these students better understand what real-world health
care involves and that they could be a part of it.”
By getting involved in the club
and having experiences such as the tour, the students learn what
is expected of them if they are to succeed, she says.
Goal-oriented students perform better throughout their years in
“We packed a lot of information
into a short amount of time,” Auguste-Keesey says, adding
hospital staff spoke to students about careers in nursing,
dietetics, pharmacology and other related field. “O’Bleness did
a wonderful job.”
The staff at O’Bleness talked
to the students about what it takes to succeed in a given
profession, including what educational preparation is required.
Students had a chance to ask questions and learned about the
opportunities in medical fields.
When a licensed practical nurse
spoke to the students, she stressed how she received her degree
in just one year. Auguste-Keesey says this showed the students
how, in just a short period of time, they could begin a career
in a medical field, not just have a job.
The students also got a real thrill
by talking with a paramedic-nurse who is part of the helicopter
emergency transport team.
The tour of O’Bleness is
now almost a precursor for Summer Institute, a HCOP program in which
these students are exposed to life at the university for a week.
Auguste-Keesey says, overall,
the visit was successful, reaching these students with a
“These students have a future
in health care,” says Auguste-Keesey, “as long as they continue
to apply themselves in school.”
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the week of
the week of
– April 29
the week of
– April 22
Anderson Minority Health Month
Social Work Chairman Greenlee
continues Minority Health Month presentations with ‘Appalachian
Cultural Competence’ Tuesday at noon
H. Paul Kim, D.O. (’94), is the
final speaker for Career Medical Specialties Week
D.O.C. Awards held Wednesday evening
in Irvine 194
Annual Kenyan Children’s Fund Benefit to be held Thursday, April
20, at 6 p.m.