Gus Formato of Walkilll High School, left, and Adriana Crimi of New Paltz High School, talk about how the class has solidified their desire to work in the healthcare field. Tania Barricklo—Daily Freeman
KINGSTON >> Some members of health care’s next generation are still in high school, but already they have witnessed the birth of babies, removal of gall bladders and amputation of toes.
The Pre-University/New Visions Health program offered by Ulster BOCES provides high-performing high school seniors the chance to experience the health care profession before attending college and committing to medical school. Through the competitive program, students spend three days a week in a clinical setting, one day in class discussing what they experienced during their clinicals and one day taking English and political science classes for college credit.
Dina Navara, a nurse educator and registered nurse who runs the program, said, “The goal of this class is to introduce health care topics and career exploration in health care.”
She said topics covered include infection control, legalities and ethics, human body and disease, and public health and advocacy.
The students also participate in volunteer projects, including raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association, Navara said. This year’s class raised more than $5,000 for the charity as part of its latest Subzero Heroes event, she said.
During a recent classroom day, Navara spoke with her students about what they had experienced earlier in the week. As each student reported on what they had seen, Navara asked follow-up questions to assess the student’s knowledge.
Larissa Maier, 17, of Saugerties, talked of seeing a baby born by Cesarean section. Positioned at the mother’s feet, she saw the whole thing. At one point, Maier said, she asked the nurse if an incision was going to be made larger to allow the baby to be removed from the mother’s womb.
“They took her entire uterus out and laid it on her stomach,” Maier added of the procedure.
Navara said she has 28 students in the program this year. Those students spend part of their time at each of HealthAlliance’s two hospitals in Kingston and also at Ellenville Regional Hospital, she said.
Marita Kitchell, the director of the Career and Technical Center at Ulster BOCES, said the program also would find offices in the community for students interested in learning about other health fields, such as dentistry or veterinary medicine.
She said the students have full access to all areas of health care at the hospitals and in the community. They get to see what the physical, emotional and educational demands are for the profession, Kitchell said.
“And they follow different departments and different professionals to learn about each of the careers and fields,” Navara said of her students. She said the students go into the operating room, emergency department, mental health services and other medical units.
Gus Formato, a 17-year-old student from Wallkill High School, said the students started off their clinical rotations with housekeeping and security.
Former student Erica Fautz, 18, said Navara wants everyone in the program to gain an appreciation for the entire hospital and its staff.
“Without housekeeping, this hospital wouldn’t be able to run,” Fautz said. “Even though you’re a nurse or a doctor caring one-on-one for the patient, you wouldn’t be able to do your job without housekeeping or without the security on board.”
Adriana Crimi, a 17-year-old student from New Paltz High School, said she never realized how important some of those departments were, or how difficult their jobs could be.
Navara noted that many of her students come in with some idea of what they want to do in the medical field.
“They come in here with one idea and they explore,” Navara said. “And they either solidify that idea or find something else that they might be really interested in. So, what the great thing is, is that they get to figure it out before they go to college so that they can target their studies.”
Fautz said she knew generally that she wanted to be a nurse when she joined the program, but learned through experience that she loves the emergency department and would spend as many rotations there as possible.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Fautz said. “You don’t know what’s going to come in. And I found that really exciting.” She said she is studying at SUNY Ulster and also working in the registration department of HealthAlliance’s Broadway Campus.
For Crimi and Formato, the program has reaffirmed their decisions to become doctors.
“I’ve known for awhile I wanted to be a surgeon,” Formato said. “So I was finally able to actually witness surgery and be able to know what it’s going to be like.” He said he had recently seen a gallbladder being removed, as well as a tumor being removed.
Crimi said she also liked being in the operating room and got to witness the amputation of a toe and removal of a ganglion cyst.
“It was very cool,” Crimi said. She said she thought it would be a bloodier than it was.
Crimi said she began the program thinking she wanted to be an orthopaedic surgeon, but found the emergency department to be very interesting, as well as neonatology. Now she said she knows she wants to be a doctor, just not what kind.
“I love how much variety there is,” Formato said. “In the past two weeks, I’ve seen surgeries. I was with respiratory therapy. I did a rotation in the pharmacy.”
The students added that patients generally do not seem to mind their presence when they are following staff, though there have been instances where they were asked to remain outside. The three also noted that the workload can be heavy, but is worth it and prepares them for college.
From the staff perspective, having the students around is a positive experience.
Dr. Ali Hammoud, a cardiologist for HealthAlliance, said he was not exposed to the work of a physician when he was growing up. The New Visions program is a great opportunity for the students, he said, “to give them a taste of what being a doctor is.” Hammoud said he himself tries to set a good example for the students by listening to his patients and not just talking at them. He said he also tries to show the students that being a doctor is a great way to live because they are encouraging people to take care of themselves and helping them on a daily basis.
Hammoud said he has had students shadowing him since he came to the area in 2001. He added that those students are the “cream of the crop” and it is refreshing to interact with them.
The program itself has been operating for approximately 20 years. To be accepted, students must have at least an 85 grade point average in their core subjects in school, have two letters of recommendation, fill out an application, write an essay and be interviewed.
Navara said the new students are interviewed by her current students, which is another learning experience for them.
Mike Torelli, a quality assurance technologist with HealthAlliance, also said he had found the students to be “very qualified, very professional, very pleasant to deal with.” He said the program is a wonderful one that needs to continue.
Torelli said the students are receptive to whatever he wants to teach them. In his case, he said, students get a tour of his department, are shown the imaging equipment and see the process from the time the patient arrives to the images being reviewed.
“It’s a rewarding thing for me to impart my knowledge onto these students who are hungry for it, who are truly interested in having some sort of career in the medical field,” he said.
Welcome to CTE Month® and what better time than a new semester to take a few moments to talk to your students about CTE: What it is, what we do, and why it is important. For some of us our students clearly know we are CTE and for others you may mention CTE and get blank stares. Whatever your situation, take a moment to celebrate or educate your students about CTE awareness. If you are an administrator take time to thank and appreciate your CTE teachers. This is our month take a moment and share all of the things that are wonderful about CTE at your school. Whether you have planned month long lessons around this year’s theme "Opportunities for Career Success” or are just planning on showing this year’s video PSA winners to start a discussion, pat yourself on the back for joining in the CTE month celebration. One of my favorite ways to promote CTE beyond the classroom is to be sure to have a signature line with your email.
For example, I have the following signature on my school email:
Connie Costley Career and Technical Educator in the field of Family and Consumer Sciences
Recently, NYSED and the new commissioner have been busy with the New APPR guidelines and hopefully we can now turn some of that attention back to multiple pathways and CTE. I had the opportunity to meet with Deputy Commissioner Jhone Ebert, which Peter Carr talks about in his article.
I am very excited and pleased with our new newsletter format. I hope you are as well! And, we have a new website as well - please check it out at NYSACTE.ORG.
At the end of the month I am traveling to the ACTE National Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C. to Lobby for CTE education and Perkins funding. You can help out here in NY by inviting your local congress person to your classroom and show them the great job you are doing.
The NYSACTE Board met February 5-6, 2016 at the Century House in Latham, NY. NYSACTE members are always welcome to join us if you have an interest in serving on the Board. We can always use your expertise and assistance. Currently we are looking for someone to help out with the newsletter and the website. ACTE takes care of the logistics for this it is just compiling the information. If you are interested contact me email@example.com
I hope you will use CTE month as an opportunity to promote CTE and that you will continue to promote your programs while being positive, professional, and proactive in your advocacy efforts.
Thank you for your continued efforts to provide quality CTE education for the students of NY,
CTE Month® is a public awareness campaign ACTE holds each February to celebrate Career and Technical Education and the achievements and accomplishments of CTE programs across the country. CTE Month 2016, with its theme of "Opportunities for Career Success", gives you the chance to tell stories of leadership and excellence from your local CTE programs and raise awareness of the crucial role that CTE plays in readying our students for careers and our nation for economic success. Click below for more information on how you can get involved and to view the 2016 VIDEO PSA winners.
NYSACTE Continues Lobbying Efforts on Multiple Pathways and CTE
In June of 2014, the New York State Association for Career and Technical Education retained the services of Peter Carr from Barrett Associates to represent the organization before the State Education Department, the Legislature and Executive Branch. Mr.Carr, a 16 year veteran of the State Assembly with 15 years working as a lobbyist, has been working with the leadership of NYSACTE to promote its agenda. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and holds a Master Degree in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany.
Working with leaders from NYSACTE’s seven member organizations, Peter has been active in helping to promote the adoption of the multiple pathways approach to graduation. His efforts have raised the profile of our organization with the State Education Department and key legislative leaders in the State Assembly and Senate.
Recently, he and members of NYSACTE met to discuss multiple pathways (4+1) and Career and Technical Education with Jhone Ebert, Senior Deputy Commissioner for Education Policy. The group discussed a number of important issues with Ms. Ebert including recommendations to include CTE data on the school report cards, changing the current graduation requirements from 18.5 foundation/3.5 electives to 15/7 system and addressing the recruitment and certification concerns of CTE teachers and administrators.
Within the last week Mr. Carr attended the January meeting of the Board of Regents where Commissioner MaryEllen Elia presented to the Board additional pathways for high school graduation. The new proposal under consideration by the Board would allow the CDOS credential to be considered an alternative pathway for graduation similar to completion of an approved CTE program. The proposal would also allow for project-based assessments in certain cases in lieu of a Regents exam. These proposals come at a time when the Department is still in the process of approving additional assessment for CTE and developing a pathway for the Arts. The NYSACTE Board will be discussing these proposals at their February meeting in Albany.
Lastly, Mr. Carr and a number of CTE teachers will be meeting with Regent Judith Johnson from the Hudson Valley region. The meeting is schedule for the first week in February when we plan to discuss multiple pathways and other important CTE issues. Regent Johnson was elected to the Board in March, 2015.
Expert advice on technical education in New York with Connie Costley Source: Real Work Matters
To get more insight into the role of vocational degree programs in New York, we sat down with Connie Costley, the President-Elect of the New York State Association for Career and Technical Education. The NYSACTE is a state branch of the Association for Career and Technical Education, an organization dedicated to promoting and advancing CTE education in New York.
What are the benefits of career and technical education?
I feel the biggest benefit of CTE is hands-on learning. In CTE, students take general education knowledge and put it to use in real-world settings. CTE students learn by doing, and they are better prepared to go out into the workforce and be successful. This often gives them a big advantage over general education students as they have that "extra" training, knowledge and skill set that others may not. Our students are more engaged and also have higher graduation rates that general education students.
What should students consider when researching potential CTE programs?
As I mentioned above, passion is a great place to start, but you still have to make a living. When you are looking for a program, spend time researching the job outlook for careers in that field. Students often make a mistake by not checking out that information. They should have an understanding of what jobs are going to be available and where they are going to be. You may need to be willing to move to find employment after graduating.
How can a prospective student determine if CTE is the right type of training for them?
Think about your passion and what you like to do. However, this is not always easy for students to define, so sometimes they need to take a variety of introductory courses to see what they like. The most important thing is to research all options before you decide. Start by looking at career information for that training program: Will you be able to get a job where you want? I also suggest students consider job shadowing. Job shadowing is a great way to see if you like the working environment for that career field.
In New York, how do employers view CTE and vocational degrees? Are they viewed in a positive light?
I would say yes. Especially to the employers who hire CTE graduates. They want the students to come to them with the skills they need. I believe all employers want students to come to work with the soft skills needed. So it doesn't matter what field you go into it is good for all students to take some sort of CTE courses because all careers require you to have the skills that we teach so well.
Are career fields in New York that require CTE training expected to grow well into the future?
Yes, absolutely! According to the state labor employment statistics, there are very few categories that were not directly CTE-related. For many of those categories, students can certainly start at a CTE high school program and continue on to a CTE program outside of high school. All approved CTE programs in NYS offer students articulation agreements with post-secondary institutions. These agreements must offer a direct benefit to the CTE students in the form of college credit or advanced standing. In New York we are expanding many of these offerings at our community colleges.
Want to know more details about the New APPR transition? Click HERE to find out what you need to know.
Register for the ACTE Region I Conference Today! Visit the Region I Webpage for more information!
We now have a facebook group for our members to link to each other. Go to New York State Health Science Educators Association to find us.