Phenix eighth-graders receive hands-on experiences in healthcare careers
Students at Phenix PreK-8 School had the opportunity to work with a professional healthcare worker to learn about STEM healthcare occupations.
Ashley Watterton, mother of two Phenix Panthers and a surgical technologist at Riverside Hospital, visited the eighth grade classes at Phenix to share her experience in the field with the students while also putting on mock operating room prep sessions. Riverside graciously donated all of the supplies for the lesson.
For each class Watterton and the teacher, Kelly Palmer, set up makeshift operating rooms for the students to get them ready to perform surgery on the abdomen of their resident Nursing Anne doll. Students sat through a brief presentation first while learning about all of the different instruments and procedures. Five students were selected at a time to "scrub up" and "gown up" where they put on their PPE (personal protective equipment). Each student was given a specific role in the operating room and were all required to assist the lead surgeon. The second class even went further whereas they were able to use a more realistic approach with the fake suturing skin that is used to learn how to apply sutures (stitches), as well as fake blood. Some of the students had prior knowledge of how to do these because they were in this STEM class back in seventh grade and remembered what to do.
Palmer shared, “We had been working on several clinical career paths leading up to this one as well as medical assisting. During back to school night, Mrs. Watterton and I spoke about getting some guest speakers to come in for the students since we can't exactly bring them to the hospitals or clinics without risking them getting sick or injured. She volunteered and shortly after we were able to set up a date and time.”
This was truly an exciting, realistic, and amazing experience for the students.