High school students shadow HRRMC employees

January 27, 2012

Salida, Colorado - Seven Salida High School students spent Friday, January 27, shadowing staff members at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center.

The students were participating in Shadow Day, a new educational initiative at the hospital designed to introduce high school students to health care careers. The program is modeled after the University of Colorado's Rural Health Scholars Program, according to HRRMC Education Coordinator Peg Arnett.

This was the second of two sessions at the hospital for the students. They also attended a Career Day on January 13, which introduced them to various careers at the hospital. The students then selected one clinical area to shadow staff on January 27. Students visited the emergency, medical imaging, surgical services, intensive care, cardiopulmonary and rehabilitation departments.

Juniors Kayla Gobin and Rio Wintz spent the day with the medical imaging staff. They visited with radiologist Daniel Wardrop, M.D, and learned about different imaging modalities. Radiologic technologist Kris Cary explained how a CT scan works and let the students lie down in the scanning bed to imitate the scan experience so they could better understand the patient's perspective.

Salida High School guidance counselor Robert Tressler helped arrange the student visits. Both sessions at the hospital were cosponsored by Salida Rotary Club as part of its educational efforts. Rotary provided liability insurance coverage for the students.

HRRMC plans to roll out this program to Buena Vista and Cotopaxi high school students in the future, said Arnett. "It is part of HRRMC's commitment to give budding nurses, doctors and other health care providers a chance to learn about health care in a rural area and eventually practice there."

HRRMC was designated a Center of Excellence in Rural Training by the University of Colorado in 2011.
The hospital hosts students in many disciplines, including medicine, nursing, nurse anesthesia, pharmacy and rehabilitation.

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