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Students get to the heart of the matter.

In Oklahoma City, 25 Putnam City High School students escorted their health science teacher, Larry Winnard, to the hospital. Necessary, yes. Emergency, no. Because of his family history of heart disease, the 51-year-old was prompted by his doctor to undergo a heart scan (or electron beam tomography)--and he thought his students should be able to watch.

The field trip to Integris Baptist Medical Center provided career exploration and a chance to see how healthcare workers interact with patients and use technology. The students were also able to offer their teacher moral support as he got his test results. Cardiologist Charles Bethea revealed Winnard's score of 65, which is "more than we'd like to see for someone his age." Bethea further noted, "This is the only test you'll ever take where you really want to get a zero."

The concept is about a thousand times more exciting than studying a traditional textbook diagram of a heart. Through technology and hands-on career programs (as well as teacher immodesty), students today are experiencing what it's like to be a part of the action in hospital operating rooms and testing facilities.

Putnam City High School is one of six pilot sites nationwide for a health career occupational program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Another aspect of Putnam's program gives students the chance to witness organ removals and transplants. Near the end of one school day last year, senior Julie Valentine's pager alerted her to an impending surgery. She rushed to the hospital to observe the six-hour process of inserting a new heart into a patient.

It's something that Chicago-area students (and those nationwide whose schools have videoconferencing equipment) will be able to view simultaneously, through the Live ... From the Heart program beginning Sept. 24. The weekly cardiovascular education program, created through a partnership between Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry and Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., is designed to offer students and teachers in grades 6-12 a dramatic exploration of the human heart.

The program's highlight is a live broadcast of a low-risk coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Students will use an investigation journal to track questions and answers about the patients. Collaborative activities prepare students for the broadcast and help maximize the learning experience--one they will not likely forget.

bphc.hrsa.gov/academies www.livefromtheheart.org
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Title Annotation:high school students observe health care careers; Curriculum update: the latest developments in math, science, language arts and social studies
Author:Ezarik, Melissa
Publication:District Administration
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2003
Words:393
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