A group of high school students from across the region were welcomed to the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus on July 26 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 Sciences and Wellness Building.
“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.
Freeman said one of the most valuable components of the program was the interaction between the high school students and Arkansas Tech-Ozark Paramedic students.
“The paramedic portion of the event was led by current ATU-Ozark Paramedic students,” Freeman said. “The high school students got to learn from them and talk to them about the program.”
Both Bracken and Freeman hope to have the event again next year.