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MedWatch Today: Fresno Unified students get hands-on medical training at Community Regional


Hands-on training is invaluable in the medical field. Some high school students in Fresno Unified School District had the opportunity to tour Community Regional Medical Center and see various facets of the hospital.

Suited up in their scrubs, various students got to walk in the shoes of a health professional for a day and see what happens at the busiest hospital in the Central Valley.

Tara Kaitfors is with business engagement at Fresno Unified School District.

“Hospitals are a really big deal, there’s not a lot that students can really see and interact with so we appreciate the partnership,” stated Tara.

Fresno Unified teamed up with the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California and Community Medical Centers to give the high school students a chance for hands-on training in the medical field.

Valerie Norvell is the Regional Coordinator for the Hospital Council. She said, “Fresno Unified is really valuing getting the work force in the Central Valley strong, especially in areas like healthcare where we’re seeing a shortage right now.”

The students got to see how a hybrid operating room works, and walked away with hands-on knowledge of life-saving techniques.

Tara added, “So they’ll be able to receive a certification in Stop the Bleed, which is a really, really cool, hazard kinda preparation certification, and then the simulation process that they’ll see in terms of surgeries, x-ray, and then the most fun and fabulous, the helipad.”

Valerie said this tour of Community Regional Medical Center can spark and inspire a whole new generation of medical professionals.

Jasmine Quintano is a student at Sunnyside High School.

“I learned that there’s different ways to cover a Stop the Bleeding, to how to cover a splinter, how to put on staples and we’re here on the helipad and learning how to be safe on a helipad,” said Jasmine.

Valerie commented, “Inviting kids in, letting them see all the different opportunities they have in healthcare. A lot of times students often think doctors and nurses, and so this is an opportunity for them to see other things, radiology, pharmaceuticals, nutrition services. There’s a lot that makes a hospital run and this gives them a really in depth opportunity to see everything that they can do with their futures.”

Valerie said with the shortage of healthcare professionals in the Central Valley, it’s crucial students see how they can help serve patients in the community.

“We’re already short on doctors and nurses in the Central Valley, the state as a whole, but especially in the Central Valley and this just gives them incentive to come back to see local folks that have invested in them that they can come back and invest in the future,” ended Valerie.

Tara finally said, “These are great opportunities. I know last year was the first year we had an opportunity to do this and the students really did enjoy it, so I’m happy we were able to do it a second year.”

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