Practice makes perfect! Going over medical skills often makes all the difference in the world to a student who is hoping to confidently enter the field and find a great job. While practicing on classmates, faculty/staff and even family members is helpful, it is even more beneficial to go out in the field to find real patients. How does a student do this, though?
Recently, medical assistant students at Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center had the opportunity to attend a health fair at Bill Hicks, Co., located in Plymouth, Minnesota. Tracey Stoeckel, medical assistant and medical administrative assistant program chair, organized the applied learning project for students in her Patient Care II class.
Blia Vang and Lester Grant, both medical assistant students, attended the event with Stoeckel. Their main function was to provide basic health and wellness information to the employees as well as perform blood pressure and pulse checks. The students also passed out brochures from the American Health Association, which touched on topics such as blood pressure, cholesterol, proper diet, exercise and sleep habits.
Some employees at the event donated blood, so Vang and Grant offered to check blood pressures again afterwards to see if it changed prior to donating.
Vang said, “I really enjoyed meeting so many different people at the event. It was great practice to listen to all of the questions that they had and hear the different attitudes that people had about their health.”
“It was nice to go into the public to use some of the knowledge that I learned in the classroom. I learned what it was like to do blood pressure checks on people like I might do in a clinic and talk with them one-on-one. My favorite part was learning that I was doing everything correctly! I felt great about that accomplishment,” Grant commented.
According to Stoeckel, “It was a valuable experience for my students to practice on individuals who were not classmates because it helped them both to get rid of initial jitters, hone their skills, as well as start building confidence. The employees were happy to help our students learn and compare our blood pressure readings with the blood mobile’s readings (which tend to be higher before a person donates). The questions that the employees asked were great, too.”
Thank you to Bill Hicks, Co. for allowing our students to come out and practice their skills!