Local High School Students Complete First Health Care Simulation Course at Long Beach Memorial

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Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell takes the time to speak to the LBUSD health care simulation  program graduates at Long Beach Memorial about the importance of their coursework and how they are  making an impact in their lives and the welfare of the community.

Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell takes the time to speak to the LBUSD health care simulation
program graduates at Long Beach Memorial about the importance of their coursework and how they are
making an impact in their lives and the welfare of the community.

Twenty-two high school students from various Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) schools, including Long Beach Polytechnic, Cabrillo, Jordan and Lakewood High School, have completed the first ever health care simulation course taught in conjunction with Long Beach Memorial. Over the past nine weeks, students took an in-depth look at the many aspects of working in a hospital setting. The simulation scenarios are supervised by medical professionals in pharmacy, nursing, medicine, respiratory therapy and others disciplines.

Combining both traditional learning methods and hands-on training, Long Beach Memorial and LBUSD created a curriculum specific to this course, integrating information learned in a classroom with real-life hospital situations. Every week students traveled to the Simulation Lab at Long Beach Memorial where health care professionals would help them apply their curriculum knowledge in a “real world” setting.

Students jump right into the action in the simulation lab and try to save a simulation mannequin that is exhibiting traits of a man who has been in a major car accident.

Students jump right into the action in the simulation lab and try to save a simulation mannequin that is exhibiting traits of a man who has been in a major car accident.

In the Simulation Lab students trained with “human” patient simulators that provide an opportunity for them to learn “real-time patient care” in a non-threatening environment. Throughout the course students repeatedly took on the role of their chosen health care profession to treat simulation mannequins capable of blinking, speaking, breathing, having a heart beat and mirroring human responses to various medical procedures.

“This program helps students take an active role in identifying their career path,” says Susan Crockett, RN, director, clinical workforce development, Long Beach Memorial. “We want these students to get a first-hand look at the careers they are interested in and help them learn exactly what it takes to achieve their career goals.”

Students work together with their instructors and other groups to develop a treatment plan for a patient.

Students work together with their instructors and other groups to develop a treatment plan for a patient.

On the final day of the course students put together poster presentations that detailed their chosen roles with information relevant to their career path, such as education requirements, day-to-day responsibilities, median income and samples of their work. Presentations were judged by a panel of experts including both their high school teachers and Long Beach Memorial staff and prizes were awarded to the top three presenting groups.

Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell was present at the final day to present the students with certificates recognizing their hard work and involvement in the innovative new program. Also present was councilwoman Lena Gonzalez’s chief of staff, Silissa Smith, who had certificates on behalf of the councilwoman.

“Thanks, in part, to a $6 million multi-purpose grant from the California Department of Education and an initial $180,000 grant from The James Irvine Foundation, which was used to start the program, we will be able to continue teaching this special course for the next two years,” says Crockett. “We are very excited to see future growth within the program and eventually reach a wider audience of students.”

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