The Health Science Academy students traveled to Tomah VA on November 25 and 26. While at Tomah VA, the students were greeted by Dr. David Houlihan, Administrator of the facility. Linda Klootwyk of the Medical Records Division shared the changes in medical records due to advances in technology. It was interesting to learn that veterans from years past such as WWII still have paper documents which remain filed in national archives once they pass.
One of the newest advances in care of veterans is the Green House Project. This project changes the ways that veterans reside at VA’s across Wisconsin. Veterans were moved off of traditional residential floors to a more home based approach to care. Each have a room in the Green House and then living areas that are shared. They are cared by a staff consisting of a nurse, nurses aides, and activities aides. The project is designed to make the life of the residents more rich and home-like where veterans are more involved in their care.
Afterwards Barbara Martin from Human Resources shared the vast opportunities in employment at a VA and the ways in which students can volunteer.
While in Urgent Care, Nurse Manager, Kendra Brown shared the many avenues for advancement and variety in holding a nursing degree. Kari Johnson spoke about the vital role pharmacists play in the VA and ways in which pharmacy degrees can be adapted to a variety of career fields. The therapy department, known as the Ability Gym, provides a wide array of skill building for veterans. It was amazing to see all the equipment and the encouraging decor of the department.
After the tour and presentations, each student was able to job shadow a professional which was definitely a highlight of the day for each.
Tuesday was the day students were able to engage in activities with the veterans. Students played Turkey Leg Baseball, Thanksgiving Bingo, and baking and games. This field trip is definitely one of the most valued by the students each year. We are thankful to the Tomah VA in allowing us to have such a great experience.
Students entering grades 11 or 12 next year may apply to the Health Science Academy for next year through this link: http://stendahlhsa.weebly.com/how-to-apply.html. Questions may be directed to Mrs. Stendahl, firstname.lastname@example.org.