Health Professions Club grew from 22 to 49 last year; hopes to grow even more this year
The Health Professions Club (HPC), sponsored by Box Butte General Hospital and the Panhandle Area Health Education Center, is a group of students grades 9-12 from Alliance, Hemingford and Hyannis High Schools who may be interested in a healthcare career. There were 49 students in the HPC last year, with 10 of them from Hemingford. That was more than double compared to 22 students enrolled the previous year.
The hospital hopes to match that number or even exceed it this year. The HPC will hold its first meeting Wednesday, September 20, and every third Wednesday of the month after that. There is no fee to be part of the Health Professions Club. HPC club meetings start at the beginning each school year with the last meeting usually the first week in May. The club has a ‘breakfast meeting’ on a monthly basis at Box Butte General Hospital at 6:30 a.m.
At those meetings, staff-members, or professionals from the community are invited to speak to the students about each presenter’s career. Hands-on activities are also encouraged. Whether it be listening to a heartbeat from a SimMan mannequin or learning about how stroke victims can communicate with new technology, students get a feel of the available healthcare careers. “It really gives them a chance to hone their decision-making process as they go through high school,” said Chief Nursing Officer Carolyn Jones.
The students also take a field trip to Chadron, Denver or Lincoln area hospitals and medical schools for presentations ranging from nuclear medicine to surgery and everything in between. One recent trip to the Chadron State College allowed students to exam cadavers used by pre-med students for anatomy studies.
Students are encouraged to give back to the community with community service a requirement before they are eligible to participate on field trips. HPC also requires students to ‘shadow’ or observe in the various departments at Box Butte General Hospital or other healthcare entities in the community to allow them to experience a short period of time in the shoes of a healthcare worker.
Students can start exploring their choice in a healthcare career by joining Health Professions Club before going on to eventually become employees at Box Butte General Hospital or other healthcare facilities in the nation. “It is a great way to start learning about careers in healthcare without having to make a long-term commitment,” Ms. Jones said. “This club has been the stepping stone for growing the workforce at Box Butte General Hospital, and should continue to do so in the future.”
If students are interested, they should contact Administrative Assistant Jaci Mach at 308.761.3034.
Box Butte General Hospital is an equal opportunity provider and employer.