We've learned that big dreams among our health pathway students, usually means just one thing - becoming a doctor. This, at least in part, probably stems from the social fabric in which we live where physicians are esteemed (rightfully so) and given a place of honor in our minds and hearts. But the other reason is subtler and more telling - students who find fulfillment in helping others aspire to become doctors because they just aren't aware of what else is out there! This may seem obvious to most, but we've discovered that there is a serious knowledge gap amongst our students, that is guiding their aspirations. To help address this issue, the Health and Biomedical Science Academy at Yucaipa High School (Tana DeLeon) and Crafton Hills College (Dan Word) teamed up with IHPC to offer a one-day conference appropriately named Medical Professions Day. They focused on five health careers that are interesting, fulfilling, require considerably less schooling (and financing) than medical school, and the best part: they all help people! So, we offered workshops on Clinical Lab Science, Emergency Medical Care, Radiation Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Nursing.
Crafton Hills College hosted the Saturday event on their campus and their staff welcomed fifty students to explore these professions through round table discussions, presentations, and Q & A's. The careers were well presented, and our speakers reflected the fields they work in, like Ron Sanchez who presented on Clinical Sciences and even shared several case studies for the students to discuss. Nursing was presented in round-table fashion by nurses from several areas of nursing. This turned out to be very beneficial, since many students thought that all nurses work in a hospital and perform the same job!
Degree/certification programs in Radiation Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Emergency Medical Care are all offered at Crafton Hills College, so students were able to tour the labs, use the medical equipment, and learn more about how they can get into these short-term programs and get started on a worthwhile and satisfying career. They were even surprised to learn that the salaries in this fields are nothing to sneeze at!
We have to send a huge “Thank You” to Dan Word, Interim Dean of Career Education and Human Development, and the staff at Crafton Hills College for providing students with a great information on their Allied Health programs; Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Michelle Melancon, and Ron Sanchez for providing excellent presentations for the students.