On August 18, 2011, Jill, Laurel, and I made our way to St. Francis for our first day of Health Academy. We had heard different stories of what we would be doing for the next semester, but we were still not positive what to expect. Finding our way to the classroom was quite the struggle, however, once we found our way we were immediately greeted by Mrs. Clarke-Hang and felt very welcomed. For the next week we reviewed the syllabus, discussed the rules of the hospital, and listened to a few different speakers explain what we should know about Health Academy. We were also assigned a career paper to get things started. Little did I know, this semester would be very life-changing.
On August 31 and September 1, 2011, I spent my first rotation inRehab Services. Each day I followed a Physical Therapist (PT) to seetwo patients. I also got to see what an Occupational Therapistdoes. The difference between the two was explained to me as aPhysical Therapist looks out for the lower part of your body(balance, legs, feet, etc.), whereas an Occupational Therapisttakes care of the upper portion (fingers, arms, etc.). The PT woulddo simple exercises with the patients such as having them get out ofbed, raise their arms above their head, walk a short distance whilewearing a safety belt (the PT would hold on to it just in case), etc.Patients were also asked simple questions such as do you livealone, do you have safety bars on your toilet/in your shower, do youhave a walk-in shower or sit-in tub, do you have to walk up stairs inyour house?Rehab Services was very interesting, however, after seeing more in-depth I do not see Physical Therapy as a career choice in my future.I would highly recommend this type of career for anyone whowants to work in the medical field but does not want to constantlybe on call or work long hours. I still had fun though!
This week I went to the OR at SJC. It. Was. AMAZING!! I had the best rotation yet. On Monday I arrived and changed into scrubs, hair cap, shoe covers, mask and protective eye wear. The first surgery I was sent to was supposed to be an Appendectomy, where they remove the appendix. However, they found cancer in the patients colon so they ended up removing their colon and I got to see it!! Then I watched a doctor trim a mans prostate, then hook up a catheter to the mans penis. The last thing I saw on Monday was a Hysterectomy where they removed the womans uterus. It was so cool because they used a robot to perform the operation. When the uterus was finally removed I got to hold it! It was so awesome.On Tuesday I changed again then while I was waiting for a surgery to begin I sat and watched another Hysterectomy and this time they were removing the womans uterus and ovaries. Next, I watched an Inguinal Hernia and that was so cool too because I got to stand right by the patients head and watch the entire thing! After that I watched an Endoscopic Sinus Surgery where they broke out some of the bone in the patients nose. It was weird because you could hear the bone breaking and everything! Finally, I saw a Colonoscopy and then another Hernia performed all on one patient. I had the best two days of rotation ever!!!
For Rotation six I was in Labor and Delivery at SJC. It was so cool! Both days I was there I got to see a birth! The first birth I saw took a lot longer than the one I saw on day two. This was because it was the womans first child and the first baby is always the hardest to get out. The woman I saw give birth on day two was on her third child. They both had girls! Day one and two I saw how they stitch up a woman after she tears from giving birth. There are four degrees of tearing, four being the worst. Mommy 1 had a third degree tear....OUCH and Mommy 2 just had a second degree...still pretty painful looking. Both of the moms requested skin to skin contact after the baby was born. Mommy 1 requested her baby to be cleaned off a little bit first, but Mommy 2 did not wait one second to hold her child. I also saw how they weigh, measure and bathe the babies after being born. Labor and Delivery was really really cool you just have to be patient because youre mainly waiting around for someone to start pushing but when the delivery does start everything starts to speed up. I loved it and it was a great experience!
For rotation seven I went to Respiratory at SFC on the fourth floor. As youve probably pieced together by now, respiratory has to do with your breathing and lungs. Both days I followed a Respiratory Therapist. Each day Respiratory Therapists are assigned to different units in the hospital. The purpose for doing this is to keep the them updated with the different areas of study in the hospital, this way their knowledge of everything will stay constant and will be renewed periodically.The first day of my rotation, the Respiratory Therapist was assigned to the CTI unit. Basically, what the therapist did was go to see the different patients and provide breathing treatments. All of these treatments seemed to be all the same to me, in fact a couple of them are the same they just have a different name and are more expensive. It just depends on what you prefer.
The second day of my rotation, the Respiratory Therapist was assigned to the PICU, Burn, and Neuro Units. I got to see a patient in the burn unit who had a bunch of bad sores all over their body. It was pretty cool. The therapist provided different breathing treatments as well! There are quite a few different breathing treatments; I will admit I was getting a little overwhelmed but I still really enjoyed myself.This rotation definitely wasnt my most exciting but it really opened my mind. I have started to spark an interest in becoming a Respiratory Therapist. It might sound boring to some, but really if you think about it, you are never confined to just one unit for the rest of your career. Everyday you are assigned a new unit to work in so you are constantly getting to learn about new things. It was pretty awesome!
For Rotation eleven I was in General Surgery. This was basically exactly like the OR so of course I loved it! I saw my third hysterectomy, two laparoscopic gallbladder surgeries, and two hernia surgeries (one was open ventral and the other was laparoscopic). They were all so awesome! The laparoscopic hernia was probably my favorite because they used the camera to look inside the patient to place the mesh over the hernia to repair it. They didnt even have to cut into the patient except making the incisions for the camera and for the instruments! It was so cool. I am really starting to think that general surgery/OR is my calling!
My first choice, Pediatrics, consists of caring for children from birth to earlyadulthood; specializing in diseases and ailments specific to young and growing bodies;supervising the health of children; advising parents on taking care of their new babies;diagnosing childhood cancer; etc. To be a great Pediatrician you must obtain excellentcommunicating skills. It is important to be a good communicator since you are going to bespeaking with children who are just learning to talk and you do not want what you are goingto say scare them or make them think they are just going to get hurt. It is recommended that while in high school you take challenging math andscience classes. This included AP biology, chemistry, physics and calculus. You should alsoenhance your communication skills with English composition, speech and drama classes.Psychology is recommended to learn about human nature and explore the mind-bodyconnection. Also, while in high school, you should be volunteering at a healthclinic, hospital, women’s clinic, or eldercare facility to start familiarizing yourself with what toexpect. After high school you should anticipate eight more years of schooling; four years ofregular college, then four years of medical school. To reach medical school you will beexpected to attain a college degree, not necessarily made up of a major in biology though.The reason behind not having to major in biology is that it would be easier if someone wereto major in natural sciences since the following classes will be a part of it:biochemistry, zoology, anatomy, statistics, microbiology, physiology, immunology, geneticsand cell physiology. Working your way up to medical school will consist of you taking thefollowing courses as well (may vary between medical schools): one to two years of biology-including labs; one year of physics- including labs; one year of English; two years ofchemistry- including one year of organic chemistry and labs; and one year of calculus.
Once someone has finally reached medical school they will need to obtain aDoctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree. The first two years will bespent in the classroom and labs learning. The last two years will be spent earning clinicalexperience under supervision of licensed physicians. After graduation, when you are completely finished with school, you will need toattain a minimum of three years in residency training. This will be hands-on experience inyour specialty prior to obtaining a license to practice. Many employers require receivingboard certification through the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), which is one of theboards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Pediatricians are also faced with talking to teens about birth control, helpingoverweight children plan a diet, order tests to confirm your diagnosis, give babiesimmunization shots, treat children for strep throat and other common ailments, etc. You willbe spending years studying and training and a lifetime keeping up with advances inmedicine, responding to emergencies late at night, working closely with other doctors, etc. I find myself so interested in becoming a Pediatrician because I have alwaysknown that I want to work with children. Also, being a Pediatrician brings you into contactwith so many new people; and I adore meeting new people and getting to know them. Ibelieve that I would be able to handle all the schooling as well. So far I have been going toschool for 12 years, I am positive eight more years will be a breeze.
My next career of interest would be Psychology. I have always been very curiousabout how our minds work. I have never fully grasped the concept of dreams, how wehandle certain situations, or why we act the way we do when we hear about differentthings. Psychologists in healthcare help patients and their families/friends overcomeemotional or psychological difficulties. They also study the human mind and behavior. Those who work in the psychology field can work with different degreelevels, however, if you choose to practice individually you must obtain advanced schooling.Psychologists typically need a master’s degree or doctorate to become licensed or certifiedin every state, which you need to begin your work as a psychologist. Psychology is such a large field of study that there is really almost no end to whatyou could do. Some of the specialties consist of counseling, school or clinicalpsychology, working with large companies and organizations to improve workplaceproductivity or employee satisfaction, conduct research, publish papers, or even givespeeches. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement in the psychology field, but thereis high competition for jobs at this level. With this degree you will usually find jobs with thefederal government or work as an assistant to psychologists. An undergrad psychologydegree can prepare you for graduate programs. The bachelor’s degree program includescourse topics as research methods and decision-making and core requirements in areas likedevelopment, social and clinical psychology.
If you are at the doctoral level then you may choose from a Doctorof Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program. Most statesrequire you to have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. if you plan on running your ownpractice. Doctoral candidates must complete research, residency, orcomprehensive exams (varies by program). Students usually work asresearch assistants or teaching. Psychologists who are preparing for a career in health psychologyoften obtain general psychology training at the undergraduate anddoctoral levels, then receive specialty training at the postdoctoral orinternship level. For an undergraduate; health psychology courses areavailable at about a third of North American colleges and universities. Thesestudents are encouraged to take courses focusing on abnormal and socialpsychology, learning processes and behaviortherapies, psychophysiology, anatomy andphysiology, psychopharmacology, community psychology, and publichealth. A number of programs exist now in the United States and othercountries for graduates. Predoctoral internships provide specialized trainingin health psychology in which at least half of the trainee’s time is spent insupervised health psychology activities. Postdoctoral fellowships are foundin many university medical centers, universities, and health centers. Healthpsychology programs offer specialized research and/or clinical training indifferent areas of health psychology.
Another area of healthcare I have had numerous thoughts about is Obstetrics and Gynecology(OBGYN). This is the specialization of diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases/disorders that affectwomen. These include: breast cancer, cervical cancer, and menopause. Obstetricians and Gynecologistsalso help with expecting mothers through their pregnancy, during childbirth, and into postpartum (theperiod just after deliver, as with postpartum depression- medicinenet.com). I am interested in Obstetrics and Gynecology because, as I stated earlier, I love children; but Iam also curious in the specialization in the diseases/disorders that affect women. I have known/know manywomen who go through breast cancer and I have always wondered what goes into treating them. Generally, you must obtain a Bachelor’s degree, four-year Medical degree, complete a four-year residency, and receive licensing in order to practice medicine to become an OBGYN. Depending on ifyou graduated from an allopathic or osteopathic medical school, you have the option of passing an examto become board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology from either the American Board of MedicalSpecialists (ABMS) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Undergrad coursework requirements for an OBGYN consist of: chemistry, physics, biology, andother sciences. While in medical school, you will be taking courses in genetics, humananatomy, microbiology, pharmacology, pathology, and more for the first two years. The last two years youwill be gaining hands-on experience in hospitals and clinics under the supervision of licensed physicians. Youwill rotate through different specialties including Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, etc. After eight years of schooling, you will need to complete an internship and residency in ahospital; this may last up to eight years. Gaining residency at more distinguished facilities often requires avery high class ranking, strong recommendation letters, and published medical research. To become and OBGYN a state licensure is mandatory. After schooling and residency, you mustseek professional certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) before legallybeginning your medical practice. To receive licensure, you must complete the U.S. Medical LicensingExamination (USMLE).
Next area of healthcare is Physical Therapy. If I chose to become a physicaltherapist I would choose to do it for a sports team. I am a huge athlete, I have played sportsmy entire life, and so I know how often an athlete can become injured and then needphysical therapy to help them get back on their feet. I also have numerous friends who havegone through therapy, and it is all thanks to the physical therapists that these kids get tocontinue on with their dreams. Physical therapists rehabilitate patients, including low-back pains, arthritis, headinjuries, fractures, accident victims, heart disease, etc. The physical therapist providesservices to improve mobility, prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities, restorefunction, and relieve pain. There are no specific undergrad majors, however, most physical therapydepartments offer a master’s degree that can be completed in about two years. Thesedegrees require courses to be taken in math, chemistry, physics, biology, and anatomy. Anundergrad student could enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in a specific area orcomplete a pre-physical therapy-training course. Community Colleges offer associate’s degree programs that prepare graduates toenter into a master’s degree program. Students that enroll in this kind of program will takecourses including human physiology and anatomy, organic chemistry, generalchemistry, anatomical kinesiology, and biology.
Before you can go out into the world as a full on licensed physicaltherapist you must complete a master’s degree program. A Masterof Physical Therapy degree program combines foundationalscience courses with classes that emphasize clinical experiences.Clinical courses may be taken between the first two years ofenrollment and the last year as well. After completing a master’sdegree in physical therapy a graduate is prepared to sit for theNational Physical Therapy Examination. A few of the core physical therapy courses touch onsubjects such as cardiopulmonary physical therapy, neurologicalphysical therapy, physical therapy and psychosocialissues, musculoskeletal disorders and physical therapy research. It is required to obtain a state license before a graduate of aphysical therapy master’s degree can begin. After passing theNational Physical Therapy Examination, you may be expected tocomplete additional state requirements, such as jurisprudenceexaminations. Once you receive your license, it will eventually haveto be renewed to stay valid.
My final area of healthcare is Anesthesiology. I am interested in thisarea of healthcare because I have thought it would be appealing to learnhow you are supposed to monitor a patient’s vitals when they are underanesthetics. In the beginning you begin your career with an undergraduatedegree, usually in one of the life sciences or mathematics. Continuing onfrom the undergrad degree, a student is required to acquire a medicaldegree and complete a residency program in anesthesiology. Whileworking through your residency, you are expected to study anesthesiatheory and complete internships in areas including criticalcare, cardiology, and emergency medicine. Anesthesiologists dedicate four years to a baccalaureatedegree, four years to medical school, and four years to a residencyprogram. There is only a limited number of schools that offer a master’sdegree in anesthesiology. While undergoing a two-year master’s degreeprogram, students study courses in physiology, pharmacology, pulmonarymechanics, and electrocardiography.
The first two years of medical school are normallyspent in laboratories and classrooms completing coursessuch as cell and tissue biology, grossanatomy, pharmacology, and microbiology. The lasttwo years are spent at hospitals or clinics practicingpatient care. Towards the end of your fourth year, youshould be interviewed for residency positions athospitals. The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA)gives out certification in anesthesiology andanesthesiology sub-specialties. You must posses amedical degree and recertification is to be completedevery ten years. You can choose to work for a hospital oroutpatient medical facility once you complete yourresidency program.
Kevin ArkinKapaun Mt. Carmel High School8506 East CentralWichita, KS 67206316-634-0315
John ArnoldRedRock Canyon Grill1844 North Rock RoadWichita, KS 67206316-636-1844
Chris BloomerKapaun Mt. Carmel High School8506 East CentralWichita, KS 67206316-634-0315
Next year I will be attending the Universityof Kansas! I will be rooming with one of mybest friends, and I plan on rushing to be ina sorority. Currently, I am planning onmajoring in Psychology! I am pretty darnexcited
As the semester comes to an end, so does HealthAcademy. Throughout the semester I have hadnumerous feelings about this class. There weredays when I could not wait to get to thehospital, but I also had my days when all I reallywanted to do was go home and sleep (I’m sureeveryone did). I have learned so much with the“hands-on” experience on rotations toindependent study in the classroom. This has beena life experience I will never forget! There is noregret in taking this class, because it really hashelped me cut down on some of my decisions. It isgoing to be really weird not coming to the hospitaleveryday next semester…I have thoroughlyenjoyed working with everyone and I will notforget any of you, especially Mrs. Hang!