On top of getting new Nursing Education and Web Design courses, Elizabethton High School students are now benefiting from a $125,000 equipment grant awarded by the Tennessee Department of Education. This funding was part of a statewide initiative to support Career and Technical Education programs with $15 million in equipment.
The EHS equipment arrived in December and is now in use by students. Health Science equipment includes Manikin Simulators, Physiological Monitors (same model used in all Mountain States Health Alliance facilities), disarticulated human skeletons, vital signs monitors, computers, and sets of nursing equipment like stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs. Information Technology equipment includes class sets of computers and tablets for the new Web Design program of study.
Health Science and IT are two of nine career clusters available at EHS. In recent years, the school’s CTE department has focused on adding new courses that train students for the jobs of the future and provide opportunities to earn local dual credit and certifications prior to graduation. CTE Director Brian Culbert says students will be more prepared for college and career with the opportunities now available through this grant.
“All CTE programs try to give the students the best equipment possible to simulate what an actual career in each area would be like,” said Culbert. “Some the items purchased this year, like the AED machines, are very real in their design and serve as great instructional tools. This has really opened doors for our students.”
The IT career cluster was formally introduced in 2016-17, though various computer classes have been offered for years. Jason Clevinger, an EHS computer science teacher, said student interest has steadily increased, especially among freshmen and sophomores. Many of his students are already planning on studying computer science in college and looking forward to careers in the field. “This grant has helped modernize our lab and allowed us to have a full class using the latest software,” said Clevinger. “Students can come into the program without any experience and graduate knowing how to write code.”
Similarly, health science students said they are getting more applied experience which will be useful in their clinical internships and careers. “I’m really thankful for all this equipment,” said sophomore Cami Davison. “It gives us hands-on practice doing things that will prepare us for our careers in healthcare.”
Health Science equipment is being used in various programs of study including Therapeutic Services, Exercise Physiology, Emergency Services and in the new Nursing Services program. Students in this program will end the semester working with patients at a local nursing home, and with many students becoming Certified Nurse’s Assistants.