Seventy local high school students participated in an “Introduction to Healthcare Careers” workshop on Saturday, November 12 from 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Marshalltown. The first-time workshop was a collaboration by healthcare and educational professionals at Central Iowa Healthcare (CIH), Iowa Valley Community College District (IVCCD), and McFarland Clinic. Students from Marshalltown High School, East Marshall, West Marshall, AGWSR, Grinnell and South Tama were among the participants.
“The purpose of the event was to expose students to the multitude of career paths available in healthcare,” said Chris Schill, Interim Chief of Nursing Officer and Director of Education and Professional Staff Development at CIH. “Our goal was to inspire students to consider a career in healthcare and someday provide that expertise in their own hometown.”
“We are thrilled with the response and interest we had from area youth to learn more about options in healthcare,” said Deb Wollam, Executive Director McFarland Clinic Marshalltown. “Staff from McFarland and CIH did such a great job teaching and engaging the students in hands-on activities related to the healthcare profession.”
The opening session of Introduction to Healthcare Careers workshop featured a panel of five healthcare professionals. The panelists shared their journey in healthcare, offered advice and answered questions from the students. The five panel speakers were:
- Chanda Bovenmyer, RN, Director of Wound Healing Center at CIH
- Julie Katzer, RTR, BSRT, MBA, Director of Diagnostic Imaging-Cath Lab, Sleep Lab, Cardiac Rehab and Respiratory at CIH
- Carol Barlow, RN, School at Marshalltown Community School District
- Dr. Wendy Thiessen, McFarland Clinic Pediatrician
- Dr. Lance Van Gundy, McFarland Emergency Medicine Physician
Students then rotated through six breakouts sessions at McFarland Clinic and CIH. These sessions included suturing with bananas, participating in case study scenarios in lab and imaging, learning about the cardiac catherization lab, respiratory services, and viewing the inside of an ambulance. During the breakout sessions, staff from both McFarland and CIH shared their respective training and experiences in healthcare.
“I had a great time teaching the students how to suture,” said Dr. Lasack, McFarland Clinic Family Medicine physician. “ I do believe we had some budding physicians in the group. I can’t wait to do it again.”
During the afternoon session, students choose to participate in the simulation lab at IVCCD or tour CIH Outpatient facility at its new south campus. Students in the simulation lab learned how to give injections (to a grapefruit), do breath alcohol testing and perform electrocardiograms. Students at the CIH south campus toured the operating rooms, the Wound Clinic, and learned about the education and training required for healthcare providers.
“The responses from the students has been amazing.” said Terri Hungerford, Intermediary Network Coordinator at IVCCD. “They all want this event to happen again.”