Johnston high school students explore health careers

August 10, 2013 

Radiography instructor Phil Blackmon talks to students about how to use X-ray equipment during one of the sessions.


Twenty-five rising high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors recently spent a week at Johnston Community College learning about careers in health sciences.

Dubbed the Health Sciences Boot Camp, the four-day experience introduced students to careers in nursing, radiography, sonography, emergency medical science, nuclear medicine, pharmacy technology, medical assisting and therapeutic massage. The students came from the following high schools: Cleveland, West Johnston, Princeton, Smithfield-Selma, Corinth Holders, Clayton and Johnston County Early College Academy.

Students engaged in hands-on simulations to help them gain a basic understanding of each health-sciences career area. The sessions focused also on the importance of using critical thinking skills, effective communication and collaboration. Along the way, students gained a better understanding of the classes they would need to take in high school and college to enter the health sciences programs. On the final day, students completed a CPR class.

JCC was one of seven North Carolina community colleges that received boot camp funds through the U.S. Department of Education’s College Access Challenge Grant Program, or CACGP. The purpose of CACGP is to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Jasmeen Kaur, 14, of Smithfield, said she enjoyed using ultrasound equipment and learning how to check blood pressure. “This was really a lot of fun,” she said. “I thought I wanted to study art, but now I’m thinking I want to go into the medical field.”

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