Osseo Health Science Program Teaches Students Emergency Care
Osseo Senior High School’s Health Science Magnet Program is giving students hands-on experience and a head start in health care.
The program, which started in the 1970s, offers four different program paths for students to kickstart a career in medicine. Those programs include emergency medical services, general medicine, mental health and nursing.
Juniors and seniors in the EMS program follow a trimester system. The first trimester offers certification in basic life support, CPR training and first aid training. The second, provides certification in emergency medical response. Finally, the third gets students certified as emergency medical technicians.
“They start out basic, and work their way all up to the point where they are employable as an EMT,” said David Casella, the EMS program director. “The market right now is ripe for them. They can find a job as an EMT, and it is a great starting point.”
DEED’s 2022 job vacancy survey revealed more than 25,000 vacancies in the health care and social assistance field. The publication accompanying the data in 2023 called the need “extreme.”
Ready in a crisis
At Osseo, two-hour classes each day help prepare students to fill those jobs. Those classes include classroom instruction and hands-on practice.
“You never know when you’re going to be faced with an emergency, and being prepared is a fantastic thing,” Casella said. “You want someone that has a knowledge of what is going on, and the proper treatments, and the ability to do it.”
On Wednesday, students ran through several simulations. One of their classmates acted as a person in crisis. Students asked the patient questions as they provided care.
After running the scenarios, students debrief with their instructors.
“We want you to know how you are going to do something, why you are doing something and what you are going to do with it,” Steve Mills, an EMS instructor, said to the class.
He ran through the significance of scenario training and asked them about the patient.
“So what we’re looking for in these scenarios is to give you more than just a patient, but also the clues of what the scene gives you,” Mills said.
Mid-debrief, Casella interrupted to call a second group of students to the scene of a simulated bike accident.
“We have a call of a student who’s been injured on the stairwell, so bring a pack and I’ll get you to where it is,” Casella said, walking into the classroom.
The group mobilized quickly to practice their skills.
A future in action
One Osseo student, senior Lyndrevionna Jordan, said she wants to become a midwife. Since beginning them her freshman year, she said the classes give her confidence and important skills.
“You can use this stuff on a regular day basis,” Jordan said. “Say your little sister falls and twists her ankle. You know how to splint that.”
Another senior, Nattlie Moua, started with the program her freshman year, too. She hopes to work in the mental health space, and said the collaborative nature of the classes is an asset.
“They are just really fun and interactive. We get to learn different skills and learn how to communicate with patients and different people working around us,” Moua said.
Casella said its a great opportunity for kids to grow. He watches them develop from kids unsure of themselves to well-equipped healthcare professionals.
“It is one of the most amazing things,” Casella said. “I am continually impressed with what a high school student is capable of if you give them the opportunity.”
Kids from the Northwest Suburban Integration School District magnet program are also welcome to open enroll by applying for the magnet lottery application. Students from Maple Grove and Park Center are also taking part in the program this year.
More information about the program is available on its website.