Throughout this school year a select group of students at H. L. Watkins Middle School have had unprecedented access and exposure to healthcare careers and patient care. Last year, the leadership of the T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Wells Fargo Bank, and H.L. Watkins Middle School met to formulate an innovative and unique Externship Program for a group of Health Career Academy students: Jessica Anderson, Zachary Franz, Breana Gadson, Mae Ghannouma, Ta’Nija Lark, Thuong Luu, Rebecca Murillo, Juna Purifoy and Vanessa Torres.
Throughout the school year, these 8th grade students had in-depth exposure to and visited many of the departments within Good Samaritan Medical Center. In the Human Resources Department, the students learned the importance of and underwent patient confidentiality training. In the Operating Room, they learned about sterile techniques; participated in the simulation of a patient being put to sleep and intubated; and performed robotic surgery on an artificial knee joint. In the Emergency Room and Cardiovascular Catheterization Lab, they learned about a variety of medical procedures from cardiac stress tests, to endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. On the Obstetrical Unit, the students had an in-depth review of the birth process; participated in mock deliveries (with full instrumentation) and newborn resuscitation; participated in in-depth discussions about maternal-fetal health and pathophysiology; and toured the newborn nursery. Through these experiences, the students gained perspectives to careers in medicine unrivaled to anywhere in our county.
In May, the students returned to the Good Samaritan Medical Center to share with the Executive Leadership, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, Wells Fargo Bank, and the T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society Membership, the benefits of the Externship Program and what they had learned. From storyboards, DVDs, to poetry and dramatic readings, the students voiced their gratitude and appreciation for their experiences.
According to Watkins Choice Academy Director Dr. Nathan Ringel, “For most, it was a pivotal event that has altered the trajectory of their career aspirations and scholarly pursuits.” Each of the students, Dr. Ringel and Watkins Principal Dr. Glenda Sheffield were presented with personalized stethoscopes and Certificates of Completion. The Graduation ceremony was presided over by Mark Nosacka, C.E.O. Good Samaritan Medical Center, Dr. Roger L. Duncan, III, Mentorship and Community Outreach Chair, T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society, and William Bourbeau, Wells Fargo Bank. Dr. Sheffield remarked, “We look forward to the program’s continued growth and enhancement.”
For more information please contact Dr. Sheffield at 561-776-3601 or Glenda.firstname.lastname@example.org .