Trinity Valley Community College

   

A glimpse at the future
   
Posted: 4/30/2014 8:47:25 AM
Health Science Center in Kaufman hosts Terrell HS practicum students

Michael Denton (left), a vocational nursing student at the TVCC Health Science Center, demonstrates how to start an IV as Terrell High School students Alan Villa Avalos (second from left) and Douglas Lopez watch. The students are members of Terrell High School’s Health Science Practicum class, which learns about various health science fields throughout the year.

Michael Denton (left), a vocational nursing student at the TVCC Health Science Center, demonstrates how to start an IV as Terrell High School students Alan Villa Avalos (second from left) and Douglas Lopez watch. The students are members of Terrell High School’s Health Science Practicum class, which learns about various health science fields throughout the year.
KAUFMAN – Kathy Gaytan took the needle, carefully inserted it just under the skin – at a 15-degree angle, just as she was instructed to do – and began to perform her first injection.

The Terrell High School junior had a couple of things working in her favor. First, the injection was being performed on a hot dog wiener, so she had a pretty good margin for error. She was also being guided by Amber McDonald and Paula Anspach, vocational nursing students at Trinity Valley Community College’s Health Science Center who have done plenty of injections and who were now trying to pass along their knowledge to the next generation.

Gaytan is a member of Terrell High School’s Health Science Practicum class, which visited the TVCC HSC last week. As part of the visit, practicum students – who are juniors and seniors – got hands-on, informal training in various nursing tasks such as administering shots, starting an IV and other forms of patient care. Most of the instruction was performed by HSC students.

HSC Provost Dr. Helen Reid said partnerships such as the one her campus has with Terrell High School are critical in a time when nursing shortages are severe and expected to get worse.

“We want to show these students what we have here,” Reid said. “One of our main goals in doing this is to get them into our nursing program because we need young nurses. The number of nurses who are going to retire soon is astronomical.”

Angel Turner, a registered nurse and THS practicum class instructor, said the practicum class visits numerous health science professions throughout the year – including dentist offices, veterinarian offices and hospitals throughout the region.

“It’s kind of a sampler platter of health science careers,” Turner said. “We really just want to help our students get exposed to careers in health science.”

Turner said she is beginning to get feedback from former students who are now working in health science fields. The program is planning to expand next year to offer certificates for certified nurse aides and pharmacy technicians.

“This is a good experience for me,” said Terrell High School senior Taylor Kennedy, 18. “I want to be a nurse practitioner, and this gives me an idea where I need to focus. It really opens my eyes about what I want to do.”