Medical assistant pathway gains strength
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
Both the medical assistant and the certified nursing assistant career pathways have seen much success for the South Harrison Community School Corp. recently. The corporation received a grant in 2020 to pilot the two new pathway options for the state, and, based on the progress of the first year, both seem to be off to a great start.
This year, 10 students have successfully passed their state examination to become certified CNAs.
Katie Broom, who teaches courses in the medical assistant pathway, said a lot of thanks for the program’s success goes to a donation made by Harrison County Hospital of equipment and supplies the students have been able to use in class.
She said she initially reached out to the hospital to see if they had any damaged or worn supplies they no longer use that she would be able to use for demonstrations with the students. However, after the hospital said they wouldn’t be able to give her any broken or used supplies, she was completely shocked at what they offered instead.
“The hospital asked me what my classroom wish list would be in terms of the supplies I needed or hoped to have,” Broom said. “I sent them a list just thinking that in an ideal world it would make the classroom for these students better if they had this list of things. I was blown away when the hospital basically said ‘You got it,’ and sent me my list of items. I can’t even begin to thank them enough for that.”
Broom said because of their donations, she was able to teach her students how to administer injections and other procedures they would need to know as medical assistants.
At Corydon Central High School, students in the health care career pathways have even taken it upon themselves to go a step further than required by the curriculum and start their own chapter of Future Health Professionals (formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America), a student-run organization. Through this program, the students are able to develop their leadership skills, connect with other students interested in health care and even compete in skills competitions.
“With HOSA, the kids are able to go a bit deeper in their studies,” Broom said. “The competitions with other students in the state are also great because some of them open them up to becoming eligible for various scholarships.”
Broom explained that Sharon Grimes, who teaches the CNA courses, has spearheaded the creation of the organization and the two of them have worked to help the students in it have structured meetings and competitions.
She said both she and Grimes are excited to see where they can take these programs in the future and are excited to watch it benefit the community as well as students who will be able to take on roles in the health care fields in Harrison County.