Puget Sound Youth Explore Health Professions

Mar 19, 2018

The Community Health Professions Academy introduces teens to health sciences programs at the UW.

Contributed by Bernice Klise (AmeriCorps Member 2017-2018) and the UW Office of Educational Partnerships and Diversity

The University of Washington School of Dentistry’s Community Health Professions Academy (CHPA) aims to introduce interested high school students to the varied health professional careers. Formerly known as Dental Academy, the new name represents the program’s increased focus on interprofessional cooperation in health care and its positive effect on community health. Each Saturday session focuses on a new facet of the health care professions from dentistry to traditional medicine to nursing with a particular focus on the interconnection of health and nutrition across the healthcare fields. Recruited from all over the Puget Sound area, over 80 students aged 13 through 18 applied for the available 30 seats from as far south as Olympia and as far north as Everett. These student participants in CHPA have the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities and hear from health care professionals as well as gain mentorship from our tireless group of volunteers who come from many of the health programs here at the UW.

On March 3rd, in partnership with the School of Nursing, CHPA held their Nursing Day session in the newly expanded nursing simulation center. A group of volunteers, which included four nursing students, two nurse educators, two medical students, and three dental students facilitated stations through which the group of 28 CHPA participants moved throughout the morning. At these stations, participants were able to try their hand at listening for chest sounds, learn emergency response techniques, as well as see the state-of-the-art simulation mannequins nursing students practice on every day. Many students were surprised by the scope of the nursing profession and found the emergency response skills they learned during the session to be particularly useful and likely to be useful to them in the future. One student expressed at the end of the session, “I don’t really know what I want to do in the future and now that I’ve experienced nursing, I realized it’s something I’m actually interested in.”

For more information about the Community Health Professions Academy (CHPA) go to https://dental.washington.edu/oepd/our-programs/community-health-professions-academy/.

For more information about the UW Office of Educational Partnerships and Diversity programs to empower youth for health careers go to https://dental.washington.edu/oepd/our-programs/outreach-programs/.