Our Pre-Professional Health Sciences Academy (PPHSA) students spent a day in the real world of medicine during their recent visit to The Barnes Jewish Hospital campus in the Central West End. As guests of Health Sciences Advisory Board member and BJC School Outreach Health Education partner Jennifer Irvin, students had access to several areas including General Surgery Lab and Research, Children’s Hospital Nursing Simulation Lab, The Ronald McDonald House, BJC Media Services Studio, and the BJC Wellness Center.
SSD has an exclusive partnership agreement with BJC that provides South and North Tech students with unique opportunities to engage with the professionals, environments, and experiences at BJC hospitals and medical centers. Through tours, guest speaker visits, advisory board participation, internships, and employment opportunities, BJC is investing in our students in multiple ways. “We find that when we work with these students they are college ready and/or ready to start a job here,” said Irvin. The partnership serves to foster a pipeline of work-ready employees and preferential status is given to Tech graduates who choose to stay in the St. Louis area and apply through BJC’s Human Resources department.
Irvin conducted the tour for our students, during which she shared volunteer opportunities and emphasized the vast selection of career opportunities in healthcare. She encouraged students to register for the Human Resources database as well, so they could be kept apprised of openings and news.
While touring the General Surgery Lab and Research area, students were introduced to laparoscopic surgery instruments. Students performed simulated laparoscopic surgery using the instruments in exercises that challenged them to carefully move small items into cups. Students were then introduced to a da Vinci surgery robot that allows surgeons to perform surgeries using much smaller incisions.
PPHSA students had numerous, quality conversations with several professionals during the visit. This is a common occurrence during BJC activities as their professionals embrace the opportunity to mentor and encourage our students. Both the Health Sciences program and the PPHSA programs are afforded several opportunities to volunteer in events and demonstrations throughout the year as well. Recently, three PPHSA students, Anna Goodman, Kristen Eads, and Jacob Brauner, participated in Operation Jack Frost as mock victims in an emergency preparedness drill. “They did a phenomenal job,” said Irvin. She said their knowledge of anatomy and physiology and their training from the program were real assets. “Anytime we need volunteers, I ask North and South Tech first,” said Irvin.
South Tech’s industry partnerships provide our programs with roots. Allowing our students engage with professionals brings significance to their efforts and gives them more than glimpse of their bright futures. Our partnership with BJC will undoubtedly continue to enhance our programs and their workforce and we appreciate their investment in our schools.