This month we are kicking off a new Student Spotlight series. Over the next several months we will introduce you to one student from each of Atlantis’s five Career Academies. We begin with the Health, Med-Tech and Sports Medicine Academy.
Katelyn Barlow is a senior from Fall River. She has attended Atlantis since 5th grade. She plans to study nursing at UMass Dartmouth next fall.
Q: What is your career goal?
A: I’m planning to go into maternity nursing. I chose that specialty because my grandmother was a maternity nurse. Emergency (medicine) was actually my first choice, but I realized that it would be extremely tough, and I would be uncomfortable dealing with some of the things nurses face in the ER. Maternity nursing felt like a good choice because I would get to help people bring life into the world.
Q: You and some of your classmates recently took part in Career Day at Saint Anne’s Hospital. What was that experience like?
A: We took a tour of (Saint Anne’s) hospital and got to see the emergency room and the cardiac unit. I really enjoyed it because we got to see the hospital function as it would on a normal day, and what the nurses are doing on a daily basis. We also got to look at the new surgical robots that doctors are going to use for knee and spinal surgeries.
Q: What is a typical class like in the Health, Med-Tech and Sports Medicine Academy?
A: The Medical Academy at Atlantis is very rigorous, but we are learning a lot of very important things that we will need to know when we go to college or begin our careers. Mrs. Richard, our instructor, teaches us skills like how to take vital signs, and then we apply the skills we’ve learned by practicing either on our classmates, or on the simulation mannequin, which is in the classroom. Mrs. Richard always encourages us to ask questions too because we will have to apply the skills she is teaching us.
Many of the seniors who have already graduated from Atlantis have gone on to college and have told her they are learning stuff that they already learned at the Medical Academy. It’s good to know that when we go to college, we will go in with the advantage of already knowing at least some of the things they will be teaching us.
Taking the course has solidified that I absolutely do want to go into nursing.
Q: What would you say to students who are thinking about joining the Health, Med-Tech and Sports Medicine Academy?
A: I would tell them that it is a lot of work, but if you think you want to go into the medical field it will very much prepare you for college and teach you some of the most important things that you will need to know. I would also tell them that they need to be committed and they need to be serious about their decision, and if they are serious, the hard work they put in will be worth it in the end.
About the Health, Med-Tech and Sports Medicine Academy
The Health, Med-Tech and Sports Medicine Academy prepares students for in-demand careers in the field of medicine. The curriculum was developed in consultation with our coalition advisors from St. Anne’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital Division of Sports Medicine, the Harvard Medical School-Med Science Program, and Laerdal Medical Group. Students are exposed to medical skills and terminology in the classroom, and they can apply what they learn by practicing on a life-sized robot known as SimMan. The SimMan is a patient simulator which can present with a wide range of symptoms, teaching students how to diagnose various ailments. It is technology most students see for the first time in college or medical school. In addition to classroom study, students are exposed to real-life career experiences through internship and job shadowing opportunities.
Diane Richard is the adjunct instructor of the Health, Med-Tech and Sports Medicine Academy. She has 29 years of experience in nursing, including medical/surgical nursing, level 2 nursery, case management and school nursing. She has worked at New England Baptist Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Hawthorn Medical Associates, St. Anne’s Hospital and currently serves as Nurse Coordinator at Atlantis Charter School.