Dickinson High School has a class that is so competitive that half the students that apply for it get refused, and the kids who are lucky enough to get into it are helping the local job force in Dickinson, ND.
At Dickinson High School finding a seat for Health Careers I can be more difficult than learning about basic anatomy.
“There is 54 spots each Fall semester, and we had 100 request for it,” said Bobbie Johnson, Dickinson High School Health Careers instructor.
Whitney Tiegs, who is a high school junior in the class said, “There is not very many sophomores in here. . . It’s very competitive to get into here”.
The semester class has three sections of about 18 students who meet five days a week for 90 minutes.
“I really like that we get learn about health careers and whats out there, and it is really widening my horizons,” said Tiegs.
On Friday the students got hands on training from Dickinson State University nursing students who help out three times a semester for the class.
The time the nursing students spend at the high school goes toward their lab hours for their Health Assessment class at DSU.
“I think they (health career students) get the a lot out of the interaction part. I know looking at a book isn’t necessarily the easiest way to learn,” said DSU nursing students Mariah Marsh.
Brigette Castanon, who is a high school junior in class said, “I learned how to take vitals. . . I didn’t know how to do that, so I thought that was really cool”.
Many students walk into the class not knowing what they want to do after high school, but now they do.
“This class has helped me decide what I want to do with my life. I can schedule the rest of my classes for my junior and senior year,” said Tiegs.
Audrey Charchenko, who is an instructor for the DSU nursing program said, the class is also a big win for the local medical field in Dickinson.
“Many times students who were not considering nursing. . .they are now going into nursing because of what they (Health Careers) taught them here (DHS)”.
Charchenko hopes to see some of them over at DSU next Fall.
“I heard the class before this. .. there is actually six of them that came from here. . . but I think that number is going to grow,” said Charchenko.
Johnson said the class is limited right now because of space.
Dickinson High School is currently dealing with overcrowding, and the district would like to possibly build a new school or renovate the existing one.
If Dickinson gets a new high school in the upcoming years, Johnson would like to expand the class, so more students can take part in it.
Johnson is the lone instructor for the class,a nd she would like to see another instructor added if the class expands in the future.
In the Spring the students from Health Careers I take Health Careers II, and they have the opportunity to job shadow local medical providers in the area.