High school students in the Mobile County Public Schools are getting a jump start on their future career choices with new Health Science programs and 21st century technology.
Local students interested in becoming health care professionals have more opportunities to learn the basics early, thanks to an expansion of the district’s Career and Technical Education Health Science pathways and the addition of more wireless patient simulators.
MCPSS is adding six new patient simulators for use in its Health Science programs. Patient simulators including the I-Stan, Meti-Man, and Laerdal Nursing Anne wireless mannequins replicate real-life medical scenarios while supporting the curriculum to provide additional hands-on learning opportunities.
“What they do is simulate different ailments. The teacher can pre-program them to have anything from stomach ache to chest pain, heart palpitations, high blood pressure,” said Larry Mouton, MCPSS Assistant Superintendent for Workforce Development. “Not only can they manifest different illnesses, but they can moan, they can talk, the teacher can actually talk remotely through the simulated patient and the students can ask them, ‘How do you feel today?’ It’s the whole range of interactions.”
Seven MCPSS high schools and both its career technical centers have health science programs, where students can choose from an expanded variety of pathways, including Therapeutic-Diagnostic and Clinical Services, Biomedical Sciences and Dental Services. Programs are expanding to include programs in sports medicine and patient care technicians.
Students in MCPSS health science programs have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials, including Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Patient Care Technician and Dental Assistant certification, upon successful completion of the recommended course of study.
Christian Little, a Health Sciences teacher at Bryant Career Technical Center, said the patient simulators will help them prepare students for those certifications and for the real-life scenarios they will ultimately face as health care professionals.
“Having an opportunity to practice in the classroom with these patients and scenarios that they will actually encounter in the real world, it gives them the opportunity to make mistakes before we actually get to a hospital or nursing home,” Little said.