Kittitas Valley Healthcare (KVH) recently offered Ellensburg High School (EHS) students to learn about the complex work that goes into providing health care services, and the role that hospitals play in their communities. During KVH’s first annual “Experience Healthcare” event, ten students were immersed in the daily operations of a hospital and clinic system.
“I hope the students took away all the work that goes into care of an emergency patient and the different roles needed,” said Dede Utley, registered nurse and Director of Emergency Services. “Another valuable lesson I hope they saw is the human aspect of what we do, the impact we have on people’s lives and the difference we make every day.”
Throughout the week, these EHS seniors participated in many hands-on learning opportunities, including safe patient handling techniques, practicing dispensing medicines and performing glucose testing. EHS students also had the opportunity to join Central Washington University Paramedic Program students in witnessing a full-scale Emergency Department drill. The drill ended on the KVH helipad with the students learning about the medical transport helicopter, its features and the training required to be a helicopter medic.
The final day of Experience Healthcare brought in representatives from area colleges to talk about the educational pathways needed to prepare them for a career in health care, as well as stories from current employees on how they came to work at KVH. Students learned about scholarship opportunities and what they can do before graduation to make their career dreams a reality.
“Susan Penick, KVH RN, and I have been doing a similar program with pre-med students at Central Washington University for 20 years,” said Karen Schock, Director of Volunteer Services. “I have been fortunate enough to see a student go through the program, go to medical school and come back to practice in our community…that’s why we are doing this.”
Through this partnership with EHS, KVH is hoping to build a program that will impact these students’ lives and career paths in years to come.