WCCC home where the heart is

Photo submitted to Times Observer Kelsi Sumrow and Jayden Slack work in the new Warren County Career Center Health and Medical Assisting Program sim lab at Warren Area High School.

The location has changed, but the educational process is much the same for the Warren County Career Center’s Health and Medical Assisting program.

The HMA program moved into Warren Area High School this year as the career center is under major renovations.

“Students within the Health and Medical Assisting Program are hard at work, as ever, taking advantage of new learning opportunities,” said Kylie Harris, who teaches the first-year students in the HMA program. “On Oct. 31, the year-one HMA students took advantage of the newly-relocated Sim Lab to participate in the annual Hospital of Horrors’ simulation experience at the conclusion of the lengthy Safety and Infection Control portion of the curriculum.”

“While the year one students were completing their Safety and Infection Control Lab experiences, years two and three were visiting Jamestown Community College and exploring the Social Services, Psychology, Occupational Therapy, and Nursing Departments, as well as the overall campus,” Harris said.

“Career preparation is a passion of mine,” said Diane Swartz, who teaches second- and third-year students. “Giving our students the opportunity to explore different options and thinking outside of the box is essential to their future achievement. There are many academic majors and opportunities for our scholars to take advantage of that are remarkably close to home.”

Dr. Kathy Taydus presented to a group of future nurses an overview of college-level medical simulations while others in the Health Medical Class were given the chance to sit in on classes in their prospective areas of interest.

“I try very hard to get to know and help each of my students find their best post-secondary options,” Swartz said. “Not everyone has to have a college degree to be successful. There are many pathways to become successful — taking a job to jumpstart the future, military, certifications, two-year degree, four-year degree, or PhD. Each person is an individual and must be guided as such.”

The move from the career center to high school is a mixed bag.

“While this year of relocation certainly presents some challenges, it also presents some amazing opportunities, including getting to know our neighbors with similar interests at Warren Area High School an awful lot better,” Harris said. “The students have already taken advantage of these new relationships by providing a joint lesson and teaching presentation with Mrs. Morrison’s CPR class and they are hard at work planning additional joint lessons with other mutually beneficial educational partners.

“The beauty of Career Tech Ed (CTE) is that it allows for students to realize the importance and real-world applicability of what they are learning in their home school classrooms,” she said.

“Students are given the opportunity to apply what their home schools are working so hard to ingrain in them in a readily-accessible and hands-on setting that really makes sense to them. This blending of two separate, yet critically important, concepts brings the educational experience to a whole new level.

“While we are eagerly awaiting the debut of our brand new building, we are also happily taking advantage of our exciting temporary digs,” said Harris. “We are incredibly excited to see where this new year takes us.”


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