Originally aired KTVK-TV
The next generation is already preparing to join the fight against COVID-19, some before graduating high school.
“I’ve been able to do things normal high schoolers won’t be able to do,” says Insight Academy of Arizona senior Sarah Wentland. “It’s just been a really amazing opportunity.
Sarah is one of five in the healthcare elective track at the free online public school that has chosen to pursue becoming certified as a medical assistant after graduating this spring. A choice she made in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It made me want to get involved more because I want to get hands-on and help the people who have it worse,” says Wentland.
Already online-based before the pandemic, Insight Academy has students from Kingman to Tucson. But it’s the combination of virtual learning and hands-on practice that academy teacher Al Johnson says sets these students up for future success.
“I send them out to local clinics and have them do some practical time in the local clinic,” says Johnson. “And they’ve got a whole series of classes that they take that covers everything from anatomy and physiology to medical terminology.”
Some of these students have goals of eventually becoming nurses. Others have plans to go a different route and become veterinarians. But no matter the end-game, getting involved at such an early age is an ample opportunity for the high school students and the healthcare industry.
“The immediate help is there’s always a shortage. It’s not just one discipline a lot of times,” says Valleywise Chief Nursing Officer Sherry Stotler. “What we’ve found is that they get so excited and learn about the environment, they’re more than likely to apply to stay with you in the hospital.”
In the meantime, Insight Academy’s enrollment for this program continues to grow.
“We definitely have more students this year, and I’m definitely expecting more next year,” says Johnson.
To learn more about Insight Academy of Arizona, visit az.insightschools.net