Rarely do you see high school students so excited to be up at such an early hour – 7:30am to be exact. But that was the case at Beckman High School in Irvine. Over 100 students gathered from the Medical Certificate Program (MCP) to attend their first annual Fall Medical Skills Day. Chapman PA students volunteered at 8 different stations to teach essential medical skills ranging from basic CPR, injection practice (on prosthetic arms!), bedside manner, and how to suture wounds with real medical tools.
Beckman High School’s Medical Certificate Program (MCP) was founded in 2015 to give high school students an introduction to the medical field and the unique opportunity to interact with health professionals. It’s a free, optional 3-year program that awards students with a certificate of completion by meeting all the requirements in academic modules and participation. In the 2021-2022 school year, Beckman’s program had over 500 students participating and over 60 health care professionals came onto their school campus to mentor, teach and inspire our students.
Beckman AP Biology Teacher, Phillip Chow said, “Today really is a dream come true. We’ve been running our program for a few years now, and we realized that a lot of what high schools do is host guest speakers, we wanted to host something that was going to inspire students with hands-on experience. This event is very special, I think, because it’s taught by PA students who are so enthusiastic. It has been very exciting. Why are we teaching these skills? We want them to grow as individuals. We want them to get excited about a career in healthcare. And all these skills I truly believe that regardless of which healthcare field you go into, you’re going to need: reading x-rays, CPR, injections, EKGs, ECGs, wounds, bedside manner, taking vitals, and human anatomy.
Emmy Vu, a senior at Beckman High School shared, “The certificate program is an amazing opportunity for students ages 9-12th grade to get more exposure about the medical field. But not just that, we dive deeper into learning more about each profession. I just find that so inspiring, as someone who has always been interested in STEM, the medical program, and to have this opportunity as a high school student to dive deeper to learn more and interact with professionals. I would say my top 2 favorite stations were the bedside manner and CPR. Having to do CPR on a mannequin to a song and just having all these Chapman students…they’re so engaging and very enthusiastic. It made me feel comfortable and welcomed to go up there and perform or even just watch.”
Another Beckman High School senior Noah Lee said, “This is the first year we’re having Chapman PA students here, and we’re so grateful for them coming today. My favorite station was either the suturing or the injections. It was pretty cool because has been a hands-on activity. I just think there’s super great opportunities for students to get to ask questions about medical skills and careers. I think it’s pretty fun too. Not just sitting there listening to a seminar but actually getting to put into practice what they’re talking about.”
Beckman AP Biology Teacher, Phillip Chow added, “This morning has truly turned out to be a win-win-win for all involved. Our students are learning, the Chapman students are practicing their teaching skills and to get to share their passion and knowledge with the next generation, and our whole community benefits. I think that’s what I love most about our program is bringing our community together.”