VC helps students learn about health careers during exploration event
Teah Camacho, Maryssa Alvarado, DJ Adams and Landry Mikulec take part in a hands-on demonstration in the Victoria College nursing lab during Health Careers Exploration & Observation Days.
Teah Camacho, Maryssa Alvarado, DJ Adams and Landry Mikulec take part in a hands-on demonstration in the Victoria College nursing lab during Health Careers Exploration & Observation Days.

Eleven Crossroads area high school students used four days of their summer break to don white medical lab coats and explore healthcare careers.

The eleven were part of the 19th annual Health Careers Exploration & Observation Days event hosted by Texas Area Health Education Center East - Victoria Region.

“The primary purpose is to expose students to the variety of health careers that are out there,” said Jody Sanders, senior program coordinator for The Texas AHEC East-Victoria Region. “All of our students come from our service area so we want to expose them to the educational systems: Victoria College and UHV. We hope they will return here to practice in health care one day.”

The students spent a day at Victoria College discovering healthcare careers through brief classroom introductions and hands-on lab experiences. The group also visited Citizens Medical Center, DeTar Navarro, and the University of Houston-Victoria.

While on VC’s Main Campus, the students met Ricky DeLaGarza, Chris Kallus, Monica Hamilton, Mary Kitchens and Laura Crandall. DeLaGarza, VC EMS coordinator and instructor, gave them an introduction to Emergency Medical Services and taught them how to save a life in a medical emergency before EMS personnel arrive. Kallus, Respiratory Care Program chair and instructor, discussed VC’s Respiratory Care Program and had students participate in several Respiratory Care demonstrations.

Hamilton, VC nursing simulation specialist and lab coordinator, and Kitchens, nursing lab assistant, invited the students to take part in hands-on learning experiences in the nursing lab while Crandall, VC PTA Program director, introduced them to the various careers in the physical therapist assistant field.  VC students in the Respiratory Care Program and the Physical Therapist Assistant Program also provided assistance with the day’s activities.

Sanders said that when the students were visiting Citizens Medical Center on Monday, they came across a former Health Careers & Exploration student. She had just graduated from VC’s Respiratory Care Program in May and Monday was her first day on the job at Citizens.

“That’s a success story and that’s what we would like to see for all of them,” Sanders said.

Gonzales High School student Andy Garcia participated in the four-day event and thought it was a great program for students who are interested in the medical field.

“What impressed me the most was how we were able to connect with people in their jobs,” Garcia said. “In the Physical Therapist Assistant presentation, I liked how they are showing us different ways of how they treat patients, the way they interact with people. They show us that they love their job and they really want us to be in the medial field.

Garcia said the presentations have solidified his decision to go into the medical field.

“I see how happy these people are and how they influence the people they work with,” he said. “If you really work hard at it, you can influence a lot of people and be a good impact in the community.”

Garcia wants to become a primary healthcare specialist “or a doctor, as some people call it. PTA sounds really nice right now, too. There are so many options.”

Erika Soderholtz, an Austwell-Tivoli High School student, said she had fun learning new things about the medical field.

“I had fun in the nursing lab, learning how to lift patients and being in the delivery room simulation lab,” Soderholtz said, adding that she would like to work in a lab doing medical research.

Students taking part in this year’s Health Careers Exploration & Observation Days were: DJ Adams, Industrial High School; Maryssa Alvarado, Industrial High School; Teah Camacho, Austwell-Tivoli High School; Andy Garcia, Gonzales High School; Griselda Lopez, Gonzales High School; Landry Mikulec, Industrial High School; Ivonne Piedra, Gonzales High School; Ruby Ramirez, Gonzales High School; Rahmiera Ross, Austwell-Tivoli High School; Erika Soderholtz, Austwell-Tivoli High School; and Shaylia Tilley, Refugio High School.

Pictured are, front row, from left: Griselda Lopez, Maryssa Alvarado, Shaylia Tilley, DJ Adams, and Rahmiera Ross. Back row, from left:  Erika Soderholtz, Landry Mikulec, Andy Garcia, Ivonne Piedra, Teah Camacho, and Ruby Ramirez.
Pictured are, front row, from left: Griselda Lopez, Maryssa Alvarado, Shaylia Tilley, DJ Adams, and Rahmiera Ross. Back row, from left: Erika Soderholtz, Landry Mikulec, Andy Garcia, Ivonne Piedra, Teah Camacho, and Ruby Ramirez.
Victoria College Physical Therapist Assistant student Lisa Henneke, second from right, demonstrates a Sci Fit upper body ergometer and stationary bike to students Erika Soderholtz, left, and DJ Adams.
Victoria College Physical Therapist Assistant student Lisa Henneke, second from right, demonstrates a Sci Fit upper body ergometer and stationary bike to students Erika Soderholtz, left, and DJ Adams.
Published: Tuesday, 24 June 2014
 

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