Recently, there was an article in the Hartford Courant about the Health Academy at New Britain High School. The article described the phenomenal growth of the program and spoke about how, “During this academic year, a total of 40 junior and senior students will be placed in area healthcare facilities for shadow and internship experiences with disciplines of their choosing.”
Yvette Highsmith-Francis, our site director for Meriden and Hartford County sites which includes our New Britain site, wrote to say that CHC of New Britain is a partner in the Health Academy at New Britain High School, and that five students spend one day per week shadowing our staff gaining exposure to the health professions.
I wondered what the students had to say about the program, so I asked Darlene Clark, a Health Occupations Teacher at New Britain High School if she could find out what some of the students are saying.
Several of them wrote wonderful messages about their experiences. Some spoke about their career aspirations, hoping to become a medical assistant or go into emergency medical services, nursing, or radiology. Jose was probably the most specific about his goals, saying that he wants to be a pediatric nurse working with kids that have Down’s syndrome.
Others were more circumspect, reflecting that one of the most important things they learned is that your mind can’t be set on one career in the healthcare field. You need to explore. They went on to say that they’ve already changed their interest in careers many times.
One of the most important lessons was mentioned by Amber. It was about how far the students can go in the medical field. This was balanced out by a comment from Niome. She described a party they had celebrating the hard work of many of the students. They all bonded and had a good time. “Many actives we’ve done in class were educational but also a fun experience”, she observed.
Having fun and learning important skills that will serve the students and everyone well in the coming years. It nicely captures an important part of training the next generation of health care leaders at CHC.