In an effort to prepare high school students for college and their future career paths, the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) and Long Beach Memorial are working together to create a new health care simulation pilot program that creates an in-depth look at the many aspects of working in a hospital setting. This program develops a high school course curriculum and teacher training guide that integrates academic and technical skills to be used in real-life medical scenarios at Long Beach Memorial’s simulation lab.
“This program creates the opportunity for students to be active rather than passive when it comes to thinking about their career choices,” says Susan Crockett, R.N., director, clinical workforce development, Long Beach Memorial. “What we’re trying to do here is go beyond the career day type of introduction and immerse these students into real-life scenarios where they can actually see what the career they are interested in is like and experience all of the work that goes into successfully treating a patient.”
Plans to create the program were set in motion when LBUSD was awarded a $6 million multi-purpose grant from the California Department of Education. Part of this money has been set aside to develop a deeper understanding of how simulation training can advance the curriculum and work based learning for high school students. Long Beach Memorial and LBUSD will integrate this new course as part of Linked Learning, which offers students a personally relevant and wholly engaging career-based curriculum that focuses on real-world professions.
There are forty Linked Learning career pathways in place within LBUSD. Seven of the pathways serve approximately 2,000 high school students in the Health Science and Medical Technology Industry Sector (HSMT). However, other than the new program with Long Beach Memorial, only one of these pathways has work based learning experiences outside the classroom.
“If a student decides to stick with their career choice after the course, they will be well prepared for college and know exactly which path to take in order to achieve their goals because they’ve already researched it as part of the curriculum,” says Crockett.
The health care simulation pilot program is supported by a $180,000 grant awarded by the Memorial Medical Center Foundation with funding from The James Irvine Foundation. The extra funding will act as seed money to help Long Beach Memorial and LBUSD launch the fully functioning course by the time the rest of the funding comes in from the California Department of Education’s award.
With the addition of Long Beach Memorial’s health care simulation program, students in the HSMT pathway will have a high intensity, work-based learning experience involving academic and technical teachers from Long Beach Memorial. Students will experience various health care professional roles using patient simulation scenarios with human simulation mannequins in a hospital like setting. The simulation scenarios are supervised by professionals in various areas including – pharmacy, nursing, medicine, respiratory therapy, and others.