Eastside Students Gaining Valuable Healthcare Knowledge during Clinicals

Students who are enrolled in the Health Practicum course of the Health Tech Education program at Eastside Memorial High School are currently participating in clinical rotations at Seton Main Hospital in Austin.

Students like Khadeishua Body, Yoshua Morin and Eva Quintanilla are learning real life skills and critical exposure to the healthcare profession at various clinics and settings throughout the hospital over the next two months. All three students gained this opportunity by completing previous health science courses such as Principles of Health Sciences and Health Sciences Practices as part of the Health Science Technology course curriculum as administered by the Career Technical Education of Austin Independent School District. The primary purpose of the clinical rotation is to provide students with an expanded awareness of the healthcare work environment and skills required to pursue specific health careers. Prior to their clinical rotations, each student participated in a hospital orientation course, underwent a nine-panel drug screening exam and received immunization shots. Students also had to pass the Seton Patient Safety Exam as part of the screening process.

Each student will rotate each week through areas such as Patient Imaging/X-ray, Pulmonary, Cardiac/Heart Unit, Physical Therapy and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The clinical rotation is a collaborative partnership between AISD, Eastside Memorial High School and the Seton Healthcare Family. The clinical rotations are designed to provide students in the health science program with the ability to become more competitive in their preparation for entry into the workforce, but more importantly, enable students to develop their career plans that also include higher education preparation.

The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing occupations for many people during these times of career re-development and re-structuring. For many high school students however, their inexperience or limited information about career preparation has hindered their ability to pursue such career pathways. A significant component of the clinical rotation experience has each student interview a healthcare professional from a specific area of their assignment to inquire about the individual’s likes and dislikes about their profession and the education requirements to obtain their license or certification. Students are also required to keep a journal documenting their experiences, describing the equipment used in the various departments and becoming familiar with each healthcare team from the various units. Students are also expanding development of their current student portfolios to reflect their participation in the clinical rotation experience.

The students will use the experience to substantiate their applications for summer research positions with institutions such as MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. The clinical rotations will end in mid-March. Following the clinical rotation experiences, students will be placed in other community healthcare agencies for job shadowing opportunities. These other locations include dental clinic, long-term care facilities, veterinary hospitals, prosthetics clinics and eye clinics.