On Feb 24th, Bakersfield College’s Allied Health department, which houses nursing, radiologic technology, and EMT education programs, held an open house with visiting high school students from Arvin High School and East High School. Both of these schools have health academies, which do preliminary training for students who know early on that they wish to seek a health career. About 80 students attended the event, which was made possible by an SB 70 grant and donations of supplies from several Bakersfield College departments.
The event kicked off at 9:00 AM in Renegade Park with a warm welcome talk by Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health/Nursing. From there, the students split into 3 groups and headed off to different demonstrations.
One group stayed at Renegade Park for a spirited talk by RN Nursing Department Chair Jennifer Johnson. She advised the students on the importance of taking more than the required math and science classes in high school to better succeed in college, and also informally shared her personal experiences in studying for and working within the Nursing profession.
A second group headed over to the Math&Science building to the “Allied Health Skills Lab” to see demonstrations on medical mannequins used by Nursing students to gain experience with techniques, and try them out firsthand using stethoscopes to listen to artificial heartbeats and breathing rhythms. There were other medical mannequins as well – one of them could cough and retch in an unexpectedly realistic way. But it was “venipuncture” that elicited the most enthusiasm and interest, however, both from the brave few that volunteered to try it out, and their classmates who watched earnestly.
The third group went to the Radiologic Technology Lab in MS21 for demonstrations by volunteer “RadTech” students. Morgan Dang showed a group of students from Arvin High School how to perform X-Rays of patients’ torsos. Students got to experience first-hand what a patient would experience. Students also learned about all of the safety methods Rad Technicians practice – including wearing the same lead-lined aprons that technicians wear when performing X-Rays. Robert Perez explained specific machines while walking students through various safety procedures, like wearing RadTechs goggles.
All three groups of students reassembled at Renegade Park to have lunch provided by the BC Culinary Students. The various tables were abuzz with conversation, laughter, and excitement. East High Senior Kevin shared that while he originally was not sure if he was really going to pursue a career in the medical field, going through the open house changed his mind. Both students and teachers seemed extremely pleased with the outcome of the day.
The event concluded with a driver from Hall Ambulance talking to the students after lunch. He spoke on his initial interest in operating an ambulance, and shared his experiences pursuing training and the various highlights of his career and gave them advice he’d learned along the way. Thank you Mayor Harvey Hall for your continued support of BC in multiple ways.
In the end, this was truly an amazing event. Organizers of the event, including CTE Advisor Pamela Gomez and Allied Health/C6 Advisor Dinorah Castro, acknowledged all the people who made the event an amazing success, including Cindy Collier, Jennifer Johnson, Nancy Perkins, Nancy Mai, David Taylor from Hall Ambulance, Gabi Martin, Carol Harrison, Sandy Davis, Ann-Marie Michalski, Christine Dunn, Pam Gomez, and Antonio Alfaro. Special thanks go to students Aisha Hassan, Harjet Kaur, Brianne Muirhead, Janelle Digilio, Marben Foronda, Morgan Dang and Robert Perez, and to Dinorah’s daughter, Natalie, who is in high school and provided event coordination efforts!
Great work, team!