Medical program opens doors for high school students

Sophia Bradley

Bryan High was granted testing center status through American Allied Health (AAH) which allows Patient Care Technician (PCT) students campus for certification. Students have two hours to complete 150 multiple choice questions. Students have 2 hours to complete the exam and pass with at least a 75 to pass and receive their national certification. 

“Health-care related college or university training programs are challenging to get accepted into,” health teacher Rosie Addison said. “Often, having already earned a PCT certification as well as having work experience in the healthcare industry can assist the student with getting one of these coveted positions.”

The Hammond Oliver program allows students to take a patient care technician (PCT) test at the end of their senior year. This year there are 38 students preparing for the certification test, and teachers expect the numbers to increase next year. This certification allows students to go straight from high school into working in the medical field as a PCT. 

“There are many skills our students must learn in the course of their senior year in our Patient Care Technician Practicum (PCT), making them eligible to take the national certification exam,” health teacher Rosie Addison said. “Students must pass the theory portion of the class as well as the simulation lab portion in which students master patient care skills.”

Over the course of their junior and senior years, students learn skills that are needed in the healthcare field. Senior Joy Wells plans on taking the PCT test and then becoming a radiology technician after she graduates. 

“I’ve learned so much like basic CPR, changing people in the bed, making beds, foot care, denture care, and many other skills needed in the medical field,” Joy said. “These classes have prepared me for my future in tremendous ways by teaching me things that I can depend on if I’m ever in an emergency situation.”

Although students learn to master many skills, there are still some that they have trouble with doing. Sometimes the skill isn’t difficult to complete but getting it right is the real challenge.

“I’ve learned a lot about what nurses do and how to be safe in the healthcare system,” senior Morgan Riley said. “It has really opened my eyes to how things work and has made me develop more respect for healthcare workers. The most difficult thing is getting things right. When you’re performing a skill it can be frustrating sometimes because some of the skills can be complicated.”

The skills students have to learn include drawing blood samples, dressing and undressing a patient, safely feeding patients who cannot feed themselves, bathing patients, assisting with oral hygiene, collecting various patient specimens for lab tests, and much more. Senior Kylie Hernandez takes these skills and applies it to how she can use them in her future.

“I want to help people and become a registered nurse,” Kylie said. “These classes have  given me knowledge that I can keep in the back of my head to use when I go to nursing school.”

These classes and teachers are helping students plan and prepare for their future by teaching them everything they need to know and introducing them to life outside of high school.

“As recent as 2019-2020, I taught this same PCT course at another school of similar size to BHS and had a 91% pass rate on certification testing,” Addison said. “So we are hoping for good things from this class as well.”