Medical Careers in Action
than 250 high students in the Fresno area attended a live
simulated Medical Career Forum at Children’s Hospital
Central California in Madera, on November 2, 2005.
Sponsored by The Coalition for Nursing Careers in California
(CNCC), Kaiser Permanente, and Children’s Hospital,
the event featured a patient’s experience during an
emergency room visit.
The event got off to a rousing start with welcomes by Kathy
Johnson, Executive Director of Vital Link, and Jami de Santiago,
Adult Services Director of Kaiser Permanente of Fresno, followed
by an introduction and orientation of the mission of CNCC
from Jean Smithson-Bell, Project Manager, and remarks
by Todd Suntrapak, Executive Vice President and COO of Children’s
Hospital Central California. Suntrapak explained that the
health care industry is the biggest growing industry in America
and that by the year 2040 health care spending will increase
by twenty percent and will offer a number of health career
opportunities. Kathy Johnson set the tone of the event for
The reenactment was of a 17-year old male on his way home
from school who was hit by an automobile traveling 30 mph
while crossing the street. An ambulance was called and upon
arrival at the scene, the Emergency Medical Technician gave
his assessment, stabilized the patient for transport to the
ER, and gave the ER team the description of the accident.
The patient had lost consciousness, experienced chest trauma,
and had a fractured right leg. The medical team was on standby
awaiting the patient.
the patient arrived at the ER, he was met by a team of medical
professionals. Featured careers included a Transport Nurse,
ER Nurse, Transport Respiratory Therapist, Health Unit Coordinator,
Respiratory Therapist, Emergency Technician/Phlebotomist,
Cardiac Stenographer, Medical Imaging Technologist, Echo Technologist,
and ER physician.
The purpose of this exercise was to show interested students
different aspects of the health professions. All of the health
professionals who came in contact with the patient in the
ER assessed the patient and then stepped out of their roles
to explain to the audience what their profession was, the
role they played, the amount of education it took, and what
their skill set was.
For example, the ER Nurse specializes in assessing and treating
patients of all ages with illnesses and injuries of all kinds.
Education is specialized and many ER Nurses acquire additional
certifications in trauma, pediatrics, nurse practitioners,
and various areas of injury prevention to raise their level
The Transport Nurse, according to Leslie Catron, Clinical
Educator at Children’s Hospital Central California,
needs the same training as an ER Nurse plus at least five
years experience in the intensive care setting with basic,
intermediate, and advanced curricula. Transport training is
provided by the hospital with extensive orientation and preceptorship
before a nurse flies solo—usually two months. A physician
may also certify the Transport Nurse to insert chest tubes
and umbilical lines, which is maintained yearly.
At the end of the exercise, the health professionals broke
up into small groups to interact with the students on an individual
basis to answer questions. Students were given resource materials
to reinforce the information they heard during the event.
Vital Link of Orange County, California, a non profit organization,
was the catalyst to making this reenactment a reality. Vital
Link prepares students to match their educational goals to
meet the needs and expectations of the business world. To
that end, the organization creates opportunities for students
to interact with businesses and business professionals.
Release Date: December 21, 2005
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