Medical Professions Program teacher Lynn Shelton (background) observes six of her second year clinical students conduct blood glucose level checks in the classroom. Students, from left, are: (front row) Anna Moody and McKenzie Wallace; (second row) Makenzie Cox and McKayla Wallace; (third row) Zach Doss and Zack Greeson. | Clif Knight
Medical Professions Program teacher Lynn Shelton (background) observes six of her second year clinical students conduct blood glucose level checks in the classroom. Students, from left, are: (front row) Anna Moody and McKenzie Wallace; (second row) Makenzie Cox and McKayla Wallace; (third row) Zach Doss and Zack Greeson. | Clif Knight

Archived Story

MPP students develop hands-on medical skills

Published 11:32am Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hartselle High School students enrolled in the Medical Professions Program are now pursuing their career goals in the real world of medicine.

Second-year clinical students spend the first two hours of their Monday and Tuesday school days shadowing healthcare professionals at Decatur Morgan Hospital as well as other local medical clinics, doctor’s offices and pharmacies.

“They have to have malpractice insurance, undergo drug screening and be HIPAA certified,” said teacher Lynn Shelton. RN. “They choose from 40 sites where they want to work and train and are required to make 15 rotations to different sites during the course of the school year. They are required to follow protocol and abide by safety rules just like any full-time employee in training.”

As interns the students have the opportunity to work in 15 different medical career fields and figure out what career path they want to follow. They also keep detailed records of their on-the-job experiences and use this as a major part of their grades.

A six-bed, fully-equipped lab enables students to develop hands-on medical skills that will follow them throughout their medical careers. Students do lab work once a week, working in pairs. Each skill taught has to be validated.

“The lab is something of which we’re all very proud,” said Shelton. “It plays an important part in our program and we owe a debt of gratitude to the former Hartselle Medical Center and other donors for their help.”

The MPP program has grown at a fast pace since it was organized under Shelton three years ago.

It started with eight students, all of whom were interested in pursuing careers in nursing. Today, 39 students are enrolled in introductory and clinical classes with students showing interest in a variety of medical fields.

Shelton said she wants to expand the program to three classes in the 2014-2015 school year.

MPP students will have the opportunity to delve further into their career interests at a special program hosted by Hartselle High on December 19 at 3 p.m. Several college students studying medicine will speak on their personal experiences and will be available to answer questions from MPP students.

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