Frisco students explore future of healthcare

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Courtesy of Ana Cuen Alcelay

Students in the Future Ready Healthcare course pose for a class picture. The program is different from CTE sponsored health courses as students get a look into the logistical side of running a hospital.

Ana Cuen Alcelay, Guest Contributor

12 Frisco ISD students are getting first-hand experience in a hospital setting at Baylor Scott and White Frisco as a part of the new CTE Center program Future Ready Healthcare. 

“The idea of doing a future ready class was brought up by Baylor Frisco, to Frisco ISD, for the fact that Dr. [Jimmy] Laferney felt that it was needed to have a ground level course that was a broad spectrum of bringing in students to understand all aspects of a hospital based course,” instructor Amy Parker said. “Many of the positions that are available in hospitals need to truly have an idea of what it takes to build a hospital and that the future health care professionals needed to really get a bird’s eye view of what it’s like.”

Board-certified anesthesiologist and head of physicians, Dr. Laferney had seen the previous success Baylor Frisco had with students and wanted to amplify it.

In the late Spring of 2018, during a meeting with FISD Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Kenny Chandler, we were discussing details of our new Sports Performance Center Fusionetics Platform for FISD athletes,” Laferney said. “I mentioned to him that Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Frisco would like to build upon the successes we had already achieved with the Health Sciences Profession classes, the Aspire Program students (Students with Intellectual Disabilities), and the numerous ISM students who had rotated through.

Baylor Scott and White Chief Nursing Officer, Randi Elliott, says the class is beneficial for students as they learned about the lesser known side of hospitals. 

“It has always been my experience that health care providers/clinicians really do not have a thorough understanding of all that is involved at the operational level in a facility and really all that is involved in a particular specialty area,” Elliott said. “This class gives students the opportunity to do a deeper dive into the specifics of a hospital profession or operationally.”

Creating a brand new class was not simple, as it involved several people within Frisco ISD including former Chief Academic Officer, Kaite Kordel, FISD Executive Director of Support Services, Clarence Williams, and FISD Career and Technical Coordinator, Lisa Curry.

“Those three took the idea, massaged it, constructed a curriculum around it,” Laferny said. “As a result of nearly a year’s work, launched for the first time in the 2019-2020 school year what is known as the ‘Future Ready Healthcare Workers’ class.”

Three Redhawk students take the class with junior Sathwika Avula enjoying the different learning approaches compared to textbook-based learning.

“We learn about all the departments in the hospital. So like, what each part of the how each part of the hospital works,” Avula said. It’s just completely different actually being in a hospital setting because you can actually go around and physically see it. And you get into it and you’re actually the one experiencing it. So you just get like a more in depth understanding.”

Requirements including anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, health science one, and an online application, having physicians and nurses as their teachers exposes students to advanced knowledge.

“We get to go to the OR, post-operative, and imaging units to see what the patients experience first-hand,” senior Sarah Ajayi. “Having a lot of OR days are fun because the surgeons are very informative and like to educate us in what is going on in the surgeries and seeing the surgeries up close. The chief of nursing surgery and the head of the physicians are the ones that are in charge of the hospital and we get to gain knowledge straight from them and interact.” 

With no syllabus or argenda to the class, students must be prepared to learn at all times and create their own learning opportunities. 

“I think that the real aspect is that every day is different,” Parker said. “There is truly some planning but it’s really a unique experience because anything can happen. And I think the idea of having what I consider to be an adventure and knowing that anything is open territory, and that you are guiding your destination with your interests and your career goals and your preferences is an opportunity that I’ve never seen in any course.”