Covid-19 Permanently Affects Health Science Program

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Grace Zalewski

Rooney checks up on students work while they work on different references for the body.

The Health Science program that is offered at the Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital has been changed in many ways since the outbreak of COVID-19.
For the past 19 years, the Health Science program has taken place at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital where first and second year students were able to experience being in the hospital setting.
Since Covid-19 hit, it is now mandatory for first year students to remain at the high school. This has altered the way first-year Health Science teacher, Trina Rooney teaches her students about anatomy and hospital edict.
“The students are missing out on the hospital environment which teaches a lot of discipline and respect and it is hard to enforce the hospital rules like I used to be able to, but now that first year is at the high school, it is hard to enforce those rules,” Rooney said.
Normally, the second year health science students are able to socialize and work with patients at the hospital. Due to COVID, second year students last year were not able to experience that environment. This made former second year Health Science Teacher, Christine Cheetam change up how she prepared her students in order to be ready to work with real patients.
“I brought all of my equipment from the hospital to the High School where we had made a lab set up in the classroom where we re-enacted scenario based care in order to help them deal with real patients in the future,” Cheetam said.
Last year, Rooney and Cheetam’s classrooms were both moved to the High School due to COVID. Since this happened unexpectedly, both teachers were constantly moving their criteria back and forth from the hospital to the high school which caused them to have less supplies then they normally would during a regular year.
“I was kind of living out of boxes and carrying my curriculum back and forth and having to make multiple trips to the hospital, and not having my equipment and reference books all in one area, it makes it harder to teach since the students need those references,” Rooney said.
Most Health Science students apply for this class in order to experience the hospital setting. When Senior Katrina Caldwell found out last year the program was moved to the high school, she was disappointed.
“Obviously I was a little upset, although I understand COVID regulations, I was still super excited to have a change of pace and change of location throughout my day,” Caldwell said.
Now that the second year students are able to return to the hospital, Caldwell is excited to participate in helping patients and is ready to take on the challenging atmosphere in the hospital.
“I definitely feel that the hospital is more strict especially with COVID, and in the hospital there are no phones allowed and you must come with your uniform and have your badge or else you get sent home absent for the day,” Caldwell said.
Rooney believes from now on first year students will remain at the High School since COVID has changed the program. As for second year students, they will still remain taking their classes at the hospital and work on helping patients. Rooney and Cheetam both hope that COVID did not affect their program too much and that students will be able to continue this educational program at the hospital.
“I just feel like the students are going to be the ones who suffer the most, so we just have to figure out a way we can keep this program alive. And for the hospital to hire in a student that has already worked in patient care and still knows they want to pursue it is very beneficial for the hospital,” Rooney said.