Freeman Health Academy Returns After Pandemic Break | Local news

K.rests Bethel laughs recalling the moment she was accepted into the Freeman Health System Health Academy, which took place this week at Joplin Regional Hospital.

“I was very excited,” the McDonald County High School elder said Wednesday morning. “Even when (Freeman) sent the test email, I grabbed my phone from someone to check it because he said ‘Health Academy’.”

Earlier this year, Bethel wrote and submitted an application for admission to the academy, which included an essay highlighting her benefits and a possible career in the healthcare industry. From the age of 5 she knew she wanted to dedicate her adult life to health care, following in the footsteps of her grandmother, who worked for many years in a hospital.

“When I finally got the approval, I was at the lake house bragging about it to my whole family,” Bethel said. “It was very exciting for me.”

In total, 26 students from the area were selected to attend this year’s academy, a long-standing Freeman tradition that has been temporarily suspended for the past two years due to the worldwide pandemic.

Throughout the week, students were offered extensive tours of key areas at Freeman Hospital West, from radioactive oncology and rehabilitation therapy to the emergency room and cardiac institute. They peeked inside a mobile helicopter, participated in CPR and other skills teaching classes, and dissected fetal pigs as they learned to suture wounds.

“Freeman is very encouraging in opening doors for people to explore which jobs they might be interested in; gives them a chance to take a moment and step into that role before making that decision, “said Natalie Feast, Freeman’s student clinical educator.” We all know that education is expensive; it’s hard to commit to anything. you think you know a lot, but you may not know what that daily routine is. This gives them a chance to see what day in life to play whatever role here is. “

The academy offers students “a chance to walk in the door and look at the environment and see what’s going on and if it might interest them,” Feast continued. “Doctors and nurses are the first things that come to people’s minds” about working in the healthcare sector. “But there are hundreds of individual job titles in the health care system and not all of them are related to patient care. It takes many years to keep this small town alive and we want (the students) to have the opportunity to know. “

As for the dissection lab, for example, Feast said that this could lead students at the academy to want to become a scrub or first assistant, to experiment and be pushed in a direction that would benefit their interests and skills the most. But they wouldn’t have known about any of this if they hadn’t had a chance to try the academy, she said.

Juliet Anreder, a 16-year-old student at McAuley Catholic High School in Joplin, said she had wanted to be a doctor since she was a little girl, “so I thought (the academy) would give me the opportunity to see what else. career options are there because the doctor is like 12 years of school, and I don’t know if that’s something I necessarily want to do.

One area of ​​the hospital that fascinated her was the laboratory.

“I thought it was really cool because it’s one of those places… what’s going on behind those doors? What are they doing over there? “She said.” We got to (see) some blood samples over there, and we saw them incubating (samples), and I even smelled one, which I wouldn’t recommend. But it was really interesting from see”.

In the end, he said, “it was such an amazing opportunity.”

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