VCs SCOPE students promote respiratory health at local schools
VCs SCOPE students promote respiratory health at local schools
Victoria College respiratory care students, from left, Chandler Harvey and Gabrielle Cortez speak to students at Shields Elementary on Oct. 21 about the hazards of smoking.

Students in Victoria College’s Respiratory Care Program went to local elementary school campuses last week to promote respiratory health and inform youngsters about the hazards of smoking.

Members of VC’s Student Cardiopulmonary Organization Practicing Excellence (SCOPE) have been conducting the informational sessions to elementary and junior high school students in the area for over 20 years, according to VC Respiratory Care Program Chair Chris Kallus.

“What we’ve learned throughout the years is that we have to start younger and younger,” Kallus said. “If you wait until junior high, it’s too late. Peer pressure already has them by then.”

VC students are graded for their presentations, which include a “lung box” that compares actual healthy and diseased human lungs.

“They learn that they need to be interactive with the younger crowd,” Kallus said. “You can’t lecture them. You have to entertain them and make it fun. They do a good job of that.”

VC student Bianca Estrada was part of the presentation to fourth- and fifth-graders at Faith Academy.

“They were very interactive and they did ask questions,” Estrada said. “We had great fun. We do this every semester, so we’ll get another opportunity next semester. We typically change the schools so every school has an opportunity to hear about anti-smoking.”

“I think it was really helpful for the kids,” said VC student Paige Durham, who spoke to fourth-graders at Hopkins Elementary School. “The amount of stuff they already knew was mind-blowing. I would like to do a bigger presentation to more than just one class because I feel there are a lot more classes that need it.”

There are 19 VC students currently involved in SCOPE.                           

“SCOPE students are required to perform two hours of on-campus service hours and four hours of off-campus service hours,” VC Respiratory Care Clinical Director Ceci Oldmixon said. “The educational offerings part of their clinical course requirements. We have been providing these programs in the school systems every semester since 2004.”

SCOPE is also involved in other community events like Bootfest, Relay for Life, Feast of Sharing, various 5K walk/runs, beach clean-ups and other events to assist the community.

Victoria College offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in respiratory care. Upon successful completion of the AAS degree program, graduates are eligible to take a series of national board examinations to become registered respiratory therapists.

For more information about Victoria College’s Respiratory Care Program, contact Kallus at (361) 572-6491 or
VCs SCOPE students promote respiratory health at local schools
Bianca Estrada, left, and Paige Durham were among the VC students who went to local elementary schools to promote respiratory health.
Published: Wednesday, 26 October 2016

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