Health Guest Speakers Prepare Students for Medical Field


By Cameryn Oshiro
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(Katie Hashimoto | Trojan Times) An opthalmology nurse works with patients who have eye problems. She brought in removed cataracts to show the students. Many others including but not limited to a paramedic, dental hygenist and firefighter spoke to students.

Health guest speakers were brought in by Health Service Pathway students to discuss the medical field and its broad range from office jobs, to stressful scenarios. In the directed studies course of the Health Service Pathway taught by health, hotel ops and culinary teacher Shirlen Tanaka, students are projected to bring in a guest speaker who works in the medical field to share insight on their careers and classes students should take to prepare them for the future.

“The purpose is for the students to gain information hands-on directly from the actual career speaker themselves, and to get a realistic perspective on the requirements and how it’s being in that career. You know like you can read it in books, you can look it up and research all the information but you’re not getting the personal experiences and the personal recommendation,” stated Tanaka.

The students who are in the Directed Studies Health Career Program were first exposed to careers in the medical field in the beginning of the pathway, starting with health service career, then clinical health, then finally directed studies. “Especially in directed studies, I have juniors and seniors, so that’s another key fact (purpose of the project); so for them to get that exposure to different health careers and to broaden their choices for  post high school,” expressed Tanaka.

The pathway itself is meant to guide the students into researching their medical career and how to prepare themselves for college. “Being in the health career pathway, it has really helped me to focus on what I want to accomplish in the future. It has enhanced my knowledge of the medical field and is preparing me for when I go to medical school,” said Junior Kristyn Nakayama.

One of the guest speakers, Russell Acebo, invited by Junior Logan Acebo and Nicholas Nashiro, spoke about his career as an Intensive Care Unit Nurse at the Queen’s West Hospital. “As of right now, my role is a Charge Nurse. I act as a supervisor overnight. I (watch over) the younger nurses, I manage the flow of the unit, I dictate the patients that come in and leave. I determine which beds the patients go into; we try to keep the more critical patients closer to the nurses station and the least critical towards the end,” stated Russell Acebo.

A range of careers belonging in the medical or first responders field were brought in including a dietician, paramedic, an orthodontist, an orthopedic surgeon, as well as firemen. “For my job, if I can spark an interest in somebody or change their mind and not waste their time in college, to me, I’ve done my job. Because in the first level of HSC (health service career) one of the standards is career. So in health services core they got introduced to the variety of health careers from the textbook. To me, the best way to learn about the job is from the actual person that does that job, and they’ll give you more personal insight,” said Tanaka.

Seeing different careers and pathways lead students into deciding where and what they will study in college. “Although I already had an idea of what occupation in the medical field I wanted to pursue, this project has helped me to realize what other occupations I might and might not be qualified for. Hearing people talk from their own personal experiences, it gives me a good idea of what my future would be like too, should I pursue that career,” expressed Nakayama.

For the students, the main priority was exposure to different careers in the medical field. “I’ve done this in the past and (received) the feedback from students and they felt that this was the most helpful because I know in the past, a lot of students have changed their career after listening to speakers, and for other (students), more so assured them. The reason why I continue this project is because it gives the juniors and seniors a sort of starting point of how to start or plan their post high school or college choices,” said Tanaka.

The directed studies program will continue to have its students research on their careers .With the guest speakers guidance and insight, the future of medical careers rests upon the perseverance of health pathway students who continue into the next level of health and medicine.