A Carrollton High School career-technical program that earned industry certification with flying colors last spring is using that momentum to better prepare upcoming graduates for real-world work while, at the same time, providing an important service to the student body.
The CHS Healthcare Science Program earned industry certification in April through the state Department of Education’s Career, Technical, Agricultural Education department following a rigorous, year-long process. Shannon Bright, CHS Healthcare Science instructor and athletic trainer, was the lead on the project.
“Being industry certified is a huge distinction for a CTAE pathway,” said Bright. “It means even more because it is evaluated by our local healthcare providers. Knowing that our program meets the standard of the industry of healthcare helps me ensure that my students are being exposed to the best program we can offer. I already know we have the best facilities and support (the CHS state-of-the-art lab is only two years old), but to have the seal of approval from actual providers in our community means a lot to me personally and professionally.”
The Healthcare Science program consists of two pathways – Allied Health and Medicine and Sports Medicine. Bright’s training in both allows her to work with students with a dual purpose that also benefits their peers.
“One of the unique opportunities we can offer our students is the ability to interact with the athletes at our school,” said Bright. “Athletes of any sport who are injured can come to my class and have their evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation done here. It gives my students an opportunity for a real-life hands-on clinical experience and gives our student athletes the opportunity to be seen and evaluated without having to miss school or practice.”
Bright said her healthcare students benefit as well by teaching them not only the technical aspects of patient care but also the importance of good communication with the other members of the healthcare team. Students who have a particular interest in sports medicine also can apply to intern with the school’s Sports Medicine program, under the direction of head athletic trainer Patrick Rothschadl, with assistance from Bright.
CHS Principal Ian Lyle, who was the CHS CTAE director last year during the certification process, credited Bright for taking Healthcare Science to a higher level.
“It was Ms. Bright who added the field of sports medicine to the pathway,” said Lyle. “She has taken real ownership of the Healthcare Science program and our school, students, and community all benefit as a result.”
Lyle noted Bright’s diligence in strengthening relationships with local healthcare providers and related industries and how she leans on them for guidance.
“We have great partnerships with them because of her willingness to reach out,” he said.
The CHS Healthcare Science program joins Finance and Account, Computer Science, Entrepreneurship, and Graphic Communications, other CTAE programs that are also industry certified, according to current CTAE Director Elizabeth Sanders.
“It is important that we do all we can to ensure we are meeting the expectations and needs of businesses and industries in order for us to be successful,” said Sanders. “Accomplishing industry certification for Healthcare Science is just another example of this commitment.”