(BROWNWOOD, Texas) – What started out as a normal tour of the Texas State Technical College campus in Brownwood quickly became a hands-on learning experience for area high school students.
During Allied Health Day earlier this month, students from the Bangs, Brownwood, Comanche and Richland Springs school districts were immersed into the health care field.
Following an introduction to the day’s events, a mock emergency scenario played out in front of the students’ eyes. Daniel Aguirre, a TSTC Welding Technology instructor at the Brownwood campus, “passed out.”
A call was placed to TSTC Emergency Medical Services (EMS) instructors Steven McCaslin and Tim Scalley, who quickly arrived to help.
The instructors showed students what would happen if they had to respond to a drug overdose call. The scenario was built upon throughout the day as Chemical Dependency Counseling, Health Information Technology and Vocational Nursing instructors showed students what they would have to do in those fields.
Raquel Mata, associate provost of the Brownwood campus, said the high school students are in a health care-related class in high school.
“It was good to show the students through the scenario what to expect from the time a call is made to when they are at the hospital and even beyond,” Mata said. “Being able to talk to our instructors and have hands-on activities shows the students where to get the best education in the state.”
Betty Molk, a health science teacher at Comanche High School, said her students were interested in how the event was conducted.
“The students were impressed with the facility,” she said. “It was great to have the hands-on activities for the students because that is the best way for many of them to learn.”
Molk said she hopes high school students will look at TSTC programs for many reasons.
“To be able to have the hands-on learning experience, along with affordable tuition and scholarship opportunities, is a great way to be able to earn a degree,” she said.
During the tour of the EMS lab, Scalley showed students the proper way for a patient to breathe through a ventilator.
“We want to show them what we would do in the field,” he said. “I was able to talk to many students who are interested in the field and how TSTC can provide them the best educational opportunities.”
TSTC Vocational Nursing instructors Jim Bryant, Jordyn Martin, Marchelle Taylor and Jenny Wingate walked students through the process of reading a blood pressure monitor.
“The students were really involved and enjoyed being able to read their classmates’ blood pressure,” Taylor said. “It was good to have the hands-on experience for the students.”
Ivy Delong, a Chemical Dependency Counseling instructor, used a role-playing scenario for the students. Each student was asked to play either a counselor or a patient as part of a mock substance abuse rehabilitation exercise.
“I was impressed with the students working through the process,” she said. “It was good to see them engaging with each other.”
Joni Wallace, a Health Information Technology instructor, had the students complete a scavenger hunt through a medical file in order to answer a series of questions.
“The students were picking up on what the codes were, which was exciting to see,” she said. “I wanted them to know that for each answer in the hunt, there would be a code for it.”
Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.