PCHS anatomy students gaining knowledge about medical careers

Perkins County High School anatomy students have the opportunity this year to learn about different medical professions and what their jobs entail in a new activity called Medical Profession Monday.

Katie Cross, who teaches anatomy and physiology, began bringing medical professionals into the classroom to speak with the students earlier this year.

Cross and Deanne Bishop had chatted about bringing in medical professionals to help give the students a better idea of what is available in the medical field for careers.

“I kind of just think back on my high school days and think about what I would have wanted from this class,” Cross noted. “What would I have benefitted from?”

Over the summer, Cross decided to make it happen and began contacting the community’s medical professionals as well as personal contacts of hers in the field.

On Sept. 16 Jana Turner, an IT clinical systems analyst for the lab, was the first guest for the students. She discussed the lab and how it helps providers diagnose and treat patients.

Since then, students have had the chance to hear from medical professionals across the field. They’ve learned about jobs from a school nurse, CT/X-ray technologist, physical therapist, orthotist/prosthetist and a hospital liason.

Each of these professionals has brought new information to the table to help the students figure out what specifically they might be interested in for a career in medicine.

Some of the guests have called into the class via Skype or Zoom, and others have come in to speak in person, occasionally bringing along some equipment they use at their jobs.

When Ogallala Regional West’s lead paramedic Allen Sipley visited the class on Dec. 9, he brought his ambulance rig to show the students. While Alicia Abott, certified orthotist and board certified prosthetist from Iowa was not physically present in class, she was still able to show students the prosthetics she is working on to help them run again.

Nevada Matousch, hospital liason, had the opportunity to teach students about a more administrative view of the medical world. She provided information about the insurance side of the profession and how complicated that can be.

Besides showing students what the medical field has to offer for careers, Cross hopes the students can learn to advocate for their own health when speaking to medical professionals.

“My hope is that once they leave this room with their anatomy and physiology knowledge they can go to the doctor with more confidence and understand what the doctor is saying,” said Cross.


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