“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This is a question posed to us many times throughout our childhood and for some into adulthood. Sun Prairie High School students were recently given the chance to explore careers in health sciences at Globe University–Madison East.
During the vet tech career preview, students learned about imaging techniques such as radiography. Students were presented with case studies to show how vet techs might go about addressing illness in animals.
“Human nurses usually specialize in one area of medicine,” said vet tech instructor, Brandie Moker. “Veterinary technicians must be able to perform multiple specialized skills on multiple species and veterinary technology students can learn those skills here in our program.”
A palpation lab was set up for the students to work through during the massage therapy career preview. Several tables were set up with different types of food inside pillow cases. This food represented different types of muscles and tissue in the body. The students went from table to table rating how tight or hard the food inside the pillow case felt compared to their thumb pad.
The palpation lab consisted of:
Station 1: Peel and Pull Twizzlers. These were meant to feel like regular muscle and the feeling the striations in the muscle.
Station 2: Beef Jerky. The jerky feels similar to scar tissue. Massage therapists can help break down scar tissue and perhaps help client’s range of motion return to an area that has been injured, such as the knee or shoulder.
Station 3: Marshmallows. These served as an example of edema. Edema is not healthy and is an indication a massage therapist would not want to massage an area.
Station 4: Lentil Beans. The beans acted as an example of what a trigger point might feel like in the belly of a muscle. Massage Therapy Program Chair Robin Rinehart said, “I have them feel their own sternocleidomastoid (a muscle in the side of the neck) and talk about how trigger points can form in this muscle that can cause headaches and it can come from bad posture.”
Station 5: Silly Putty. At this station the students have to first pull the silly putty out of the container and pull immediately: what happens? The silly putty snaps in half. Then the students manipulate it for a big and describe how the putty changes. They then pull it again and it stretches. This shows the students why a massage therapist manipulates the muscle.
During the medical assistant preview portion, students learned how to give a tuberculosis skin test. A tuberculosis skin test is used to determine if a person has
developed an immune response to the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. It is injected into the top layers of skin in the forearm and the skin is read 48–72 hours after the injection.
After seeing an example from the instructor, each student injected the shot into a hot dog which acted as a human arm. Students were taught that with a TB shot, they should try to get a bubble, also known as a wheel, right under the skin. Students were also given a demonstration on phlebotomy and were shown hands-on testing for pregnancy, mono and strep throat. In addition, they used microscopes to find cells found in patients with kidney disease or infection.
“There was a lot of great feedback from the high school teachers about the TB testing demonstration because Sun Prairie High School offers students the ability to obtain their CNA certification while still attending high school, and students in that program will be tested for TB,” said medical assistant program chair Dawn Storlie.