A Breath of Fresh Air for the Healthcare Department

The 2022-2023 school year has overseen the addition of a new health science wing. Many students enrolled in health science classes and are now able to use the new facilities. 

The construction of the health science wing oversaw the addition of a hospital, a doctor’s clinic and a reception area. Teachers have also constructed and brought new equipment to the wing. 

“Mrs. Shoffner has built an entire pharmacy,” health science teacher Christina Wawack said. “The pharmacy’s medications are of course fake, but that’s going to make a huge difference in how the students learn and how they’re able to role play.”

In Shoffner’s class, students will be able to touch and sort the medications. The pharmacy and the other health science facilities will allow students to get hands-on experience they wouldn’t have been able to get in the previous wings. The equipment is especially helpful for students who are planning to become Medical Assistants. 

“Just the act of practicing something or being able to do things like give an injection on a mannequin or draw blood from a mannequin is great,” Wawack said. “We also have to mention Mrs. Rail, who has an extraordinary classroom with all of the teaching materials, such as all the skeletons we need, the human body models and all the things that she needs in order to teach her principles of health class.” 

Although the equipment and the new wing has had a positive effect on the department and its students, it does come with some challenges. One of them is having students treat the equipment in a careful manner. 

“When we’re dealing with high school students, they need to remember that we treat mannequins like we would a real patient,” Wawack said. “Respect is the most important thing because we have to learn to respect our patients. Although I have quite a lot of faith in my students that we won’t have any issues, we have to remember that we don’t treat [the mannequins] like plastic, stupid things and take selfies with them or things like that.

The new space also allows students to experience different scenarios and move around much more easily when compared to the previous health science facilities. The amount of space and the new foldable tables have allowed the department to try new things such as activities with stations.

The health science department is expected to receive more equipment within the next few months. They will receive six hospital beds and a brand new simulation clinic where more mannequins will be used. The mannequins will have pulses, audible heartbeats and be able to breath. Even though the equipment is not completely up and running yet, the department seems very excited about it thus far.

“I just got here last year and [Mrs. Shoffner and Mrs. Rail] have been here for a while,” Wawack said. “They were here when the whole idea of starting this [new wing] came up, so this is especially exciting for them, because they have watched this grow and turn into what it is. Our space is beautiful. We are very grateful for the space and appreciate it very much. We’re very excited to introduce the students to this and hope that this can elevate their learning.”