High school students from across the region were welcomed to the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus on April 7 for a full day of hands-on learning about career paths in the health industry at an event called Hands on Healthcare.
The event was organized by Arkansas Tech-Ozark Campus and UAMS West. It was held at the Arkansas Tech-Ozark Health Science & Wellness Building. High school students participating in the event were from several areas of Arkansas including Altus, Booneville, Cedarville, Charleston, Danville, Hackett, Northside, Ozark, Paris, Pottsville, Russellville, Subiaco, Subiaco Academy and Van Buren.
“The event is designed to give high school students hands-on experience in the health field,” Monique Bracken, Pre-Health Recruiter for UAMS West, said. “It helps give them an idea of what they want to do when they get out of high school and what their options are in the health field.”
Bracken is an alumni of Arkansas Tech University and said seeking out Arkansas Tech-Ozark as the event partner was an easy choice.
“I like doing things with ATU and the programs they offer at Ozark, like physical therapy and occupational therapy, are some of the only ones offered in the area,” Bracken said.
Josh Freeman, Paramedic/EMS Program Director at Arkansas Tech-Ozark, said the event gives students an up-close look into a day of classes for a student in the healthcare industry.
“They get to see the program from the inside,” Freeman said. “They see what it is like to attend ATU-Ozark for a day.”
Students learned about nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical assisting, cardiovascular technology and paramedic/emergency medical services.
Each student was able to try a variety of activities including wrapping an ankle, how to use basic airway devices and practicing putting IVs into simulator arms. Students also learned CPR and they were able to practice tracheal intubation on a mannequin.
This is the second time Bracken and Freeman have put on this event and they hope to continue organizing it annually.
Photo: (From left) Grace Faulkenberry, of Ozark, gets ready to practice putting an IV in a simulation arm after being shown by ATU Ozark Practical Nursing Program Chair Ester Leonard at the ATU Ozark Hands on Healthcare event on April 7.