More than 500 HOSA students tour Wallace State Health Science programs

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HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) students learn how to intubate a patient at the Respiratory Therapy station during a tour of Wallace State Community College's Health Science program. (Wallace State)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Wallace State Community College welcomed more than 500 high school students from Blount, Cullman, Winston and Walker County HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) programs Monday. The students rotated through the rooms of the Simulation Center in the School of Nursing and Center for Science, getting the chance to meet with instructors, experiment with medical equipment and learn more about the health science programs offered by the college. 

For 10th-grade students like Casen Stewart of Oak Grove High School and Gabriel Williamson of Hueytown High School, the tour offered an opportunity to explore all different types of healthcare careers, even those fields they did not know much about prior.

“I think this is a great experience for people who are wanting to pursue careers in healthcare as it opens up a wide variety of opportunities for us to explore,” said Stewart. “I always thought respiratory therapy was interesting before, but after seeing all of the equipment and getting to hear from the instructors here today, I have a much better understanding of the field.”

Williamson said on top of having engaging activities, the tour answered many questions he had and left him eager to learn more.

“It was great getting to see all the different career opportunities available. There were a ton of presentations that were all informative and helpful,” said Williamson. “I had a really good time, and I wish we were here longer, so I could talk to all the instructors and learn even more about all the different medical fields.”

HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) students learn how to find a vein and start an IV at the Nursing station during a tour of Wallace State Community College’s Health Science program. (Wallace State)

Brittany Behel, health sciences teacher at Winfield High School, said events like these are a great resource in educating students about the many possible career choices available in healthcare.

“This is such an awesome opportunity for our students because they get to come in and explore all the different career options available,” said Behel. “They may have come here this morning thinking they were interested in just one type of medical field, but having such a wide exposure like this may show them an entirely different career path that is perfect for them.”

“This type of event is so important because it helps get students familiar with fields they might not even know exist,” said Wallace State Radiation Therapy instructor Leesa Cordell. “We offer so many different health programs here at Wallace State, so this is so important for students in our area to come out and get firsthand experience.”

A HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) student learns what it’s like to try and pour water with arthritis at the Occupational Therapy Assistant station during a tour of Wallace State Community College’s Health Science program. (Wallace State)

Wallace State Community College offers 15 health science programs including Child Development, Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Imaging, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Emergency Medical Services, Health Information Technology, Medical Assistant, Medical Laboratory Technology, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Polysomnographic (Sleep Lab) Technology, Respiratory Therapy and Sports Medicine.

Most Wallace State Health Science programs are accepting applications for Fall 2024 entry. Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Imaging/Radiation Therapy, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Emergency Medical Services, Medical Assistant, Medical Lab Technology, Medical Laboratory Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Polysomnographic (Sleep Lab) Technology and Respiratory Therapy are accepting applications through June 1. EMS is also accepting applications for its Paramedic program for this summer. Wallace State Nursing will accept applications from March 15 to May 15 for Fall 2024. The Child Development program accepts new students each spring, with applications accepted Aug. 1 to Nov. 1.

For more information, visit www.wallacestate.edu, call 256-352-8000 or come by Lion Central in the lobby of the James C. Bailey Center Monday-Wednesday 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or Friday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.