Forecasting is this week! Are you prepared to choose your classes for next year? Do you know what classes are there or even which ones are right for you? Well, if you think you want a career in the medical field, let me introduce you to a class that will show you what living and breathing in the field really feels like.
Students at Aloha High School can enroll in the Health Careers program, which takes place at Beaverton High School and Sunset High School. AHS students get on a bus that takes them to BHS. The goal of this program is to guide students in the exploration of the medical field to help them make informed decisions about their futures. Students receive carefully chosen clinical experiences in hospitals, medical facilities, and private practices. Other program goals include professional behaviors, ethical confidentiality, personal responsibility, and reliability. Students also have the opportunity to obtain college credit, earn their Red Cross first-aid and CPR certifications and still have the advantage of participating in the academic and extracurricular life of their home high school. Students sign up for Health Careers or the Advanced Health Careers class as part of the high school forecasting process (Beaverton School District website). Students are also expected to concurrently enroll in their school’s own human anatomy and physiology course. At AHS, Human Anatomy and Physiology is an Oregon Institute of Technology dual credit course, giving students who pay the fee 4.0 transferable credit towards most universities.
Personally, this program taught me how challenging the medical field can be. Whether it’s physically or mentally, the program really prepares you for the upcoming challenges and teaches you how to handle it. This class puts you in real-life situations. In many rotations, patients “expire,” and you are still expected to keep a professional face and hold back your emotions, even as a high school student. The program expects students to act professionally and maturely; students are treated like adults and are expected to act accordingly, all while gaining experience and having fun.
Typical students who decide to enter this program are usually dedicated and determined to learn. Rahaf Alzghoul, an AHS senior and current Advanced Health Careers student, gives her opinion and advice about the class.
“It’s not too difficult, you just have to study and keep up with all the work.”
Q: What kind of students should take this class?
A: Students that are interested in the medical field, because it clarifies their area of interest through professional rotations.
Q: What do you like most about this class so far?
A: The rotations, because I am now sure that I want to pursue an OB/GYN career.
Haelyn Epp, another senior who absolutely loves Health Careers, describes her feelings on what the Health Careers program really feels like.
In the first year, I liked learning about CPR, getting certified, and teaching it to other people. The second year of the course focuses on community-based clinical rotations, which gives you the chance to experience the environment of the profession and to talk to people who have been through the training necessary. All in all, it’s a really great experience.
Q: What kind of students shouldn’t take this class?
A: Students who have no interest in the medical field. The first year isn’t nearly as exciting as the second, so it takes work and dedication to take the required classes and stay interested.
Q: What’s the most difficult thing about this class?
A: This class, especially in the second year, may be difficult to keep up in because it moves very quickly in order to mimic an actual college course. It’ll be challenging if you don’t have good study habits, but a bonus is that it forces you to develop them. Also, if you aren’t interested in anatomy and physiology and want to take this course, you need to become interested because every unit has in-depth anatomy concepts to learn.
Q: What type of assignments do you have?
A: It really depends on the unit, but if we are doing an in-class rotation on, say diabetes or cancer, then we study case studies and learn vocabulary in order to understand the ins-and-outs of each condition and the physiology behind it. When we’re outside the classroom for community-based clinical rotations, we have daily journals, weekly vocabulary, and a post-rotation packet that’s due every rotation that summarizes everything we learned or should have learned. It can be a lot sometimes but with good time-management skills, it’s definitely doable.
A link to the 2017 – 2018 AHS course catalog can be found here.
Note: Answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.