Forty local high school students took part in St. Petersburg College’s Summer High School Health Career Discovery Academy event held on July 26 and 27 at the Caruth Health Education Center. Through a variety of activities, the successful two-day event, sponsored by AETNA, provided students the opportunity to learn about health careers and programs offered at SPC.
The event kicked off with ice breakers and conversation about the importance of career exploration. Each student was able to complete a career assessment to learn how their interests and strengths align with career goals.
Students tour health programs
Students visited each health career program on campus and participated in a variety of hands-on activities. In the Simulation Center for Excellence in Nursing Education (S.C.E.N.E.), they listened to simulated breathing and bowel sounds, practiced hand-washing techniques with a black light, and used the pulse oximeter, which monitors the amount of oxygen carried in the body.
In addition, staff from the Emergency Medical Services program provided a tour that featured the college’s emergency training vehicles. Students also got to observe a Paramedic lab class in action.
Faculty from the Physical Therapy Assistant program brought out equipment and allowed students to practice physical therapy exercises, while the Respiratory Therapy department also showcased their equipment for the students to explore. A tour of the Orthotics and Prosthetics lab offered the opportunity to watch a live Pedorthist Fitter class fabricate orthotics.
Lunch and Learns featured health program panelists
Each day included a lunch and learn, where a panel of speakers answered questions. Financial Aid, Academic Advising, Baccalaureate programs, Nursing, EMS, Physical Therapy Assistant, Veterinary Technology and Dental Hygiene were all represented.
Attendees also learned about SPC’s FUSE collaboration with the University of South Florida, where they can start at SPC and finish at USF. In addition, they learned about study abroad opportunities, BayCare volunteering and Earn as You Learn opportunities, career outlooks, and fun anatomy and physiology activities with our Learning Support Center, the New Initiative Program (NIP).
Students earn health career discovery academy completion certificates
The health career discovery academy ended with some goal setting, problem solving and vision board activities to help students make a visual representation of their personal goals and dreams. Each student was awarded a certificate of completion and one attendee took home a Windows 10 tablet from a drawing.
Exit survey comments were all positive, with many students proclaiming the experience to be amazing! One student remarked, “I really liked the lunch and learns. I also liked how we were able to see and go into the rooms where the simulators were and get to hands-on experience. I would really want to do it again and even consider becoming a nurse.”