The Phoenix Reporter and Item (

Allied Health: The experience of a lifetime

By Nicole Dark

Friday, January 25, 2013

Each time I walk into the Phoenixville Hospital for the Allied Health program, I have no idea what I will experience. Will I see a surgery, a birth or even a death? Itís a thrill that drives me to do my best and be there, ready to observe and learn every week. Iíve already been in areas such as respiratory, the Intensive Care Unit, and even the operating room.
Since I took my first step into the Allied Health Internship program, Iíve grown accustomed to scrubs, hand washing, sterile gloving, and using an astounding amount of medical terms. Thereís a lot of work that goes into learning the material, but the instructor, Angela Clayton, makes it enjoyable. She is an amazing teacher (as well as a Registered Nurse) and knows how to teach the class the material while making us laugh at the same time.
Allied Health is a program that has been around since 1998. It allows seniors to observe different units in a hospital and learn useful information about the medical field. Students are given a medical terminology book that is used in some colleges. It includes information about anatomy, terms, abbreviations and diseases. Therefore, if youíre going to a school like Duquesne, youíll already have prior knowledge and preparation before you enter the medical terminology course.
Seniors from all around the area can go to an assortment of hospitals. These schools include Downingtown, Great Valley, Owen J. Roberts, Conestoga, Renaissance Academy, and of course, Phoenixville Area High School. An average of 30 students a year are admitted to the program in Phoenixville, while others go to programs in different towns and hospitals.
Students are assigned rotations every week in various units, and these rotations can be almost anywhere in the hospital. Some days I might not see anything special, but people have witnessed some incredible things. People in my class have witnessed a mother giving birth in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, robotic surgeries, and a man passing away in hospice. I personally saw a robotic removal of a kidney and ureter. Although it can be a little gross, I am more fascinated by what I am seeing rather than disgusted.
Entering the Allied Health program is one of the smartest decisions I ever made. It gives me a leg up when applying for college, a better idea of what I want to do with my life, and medical knowledge that will benefit me in my career. Some high schools even give honors credits towards the program. We have all become a family in the Allied Health program and I strongly encourage any junior who is interested in pursuing a medical career to apply for this internship. You wonít regret it!