Lifestyle

Chicken feet help students taste a medical career

Manpreet Rigar (left), who will attend Federal Way Public Academy next year, looks at a chicken foot on which she, along with Grace Collins and Laura Swart, will practice sutures. - Kyra Low/The Mirror
Manpreet Rigar (left), who will attend Federal Way Public Academy next year, looks at a chicken foot on which she, along with Grace Collins and Laura Swart, will practice sutures.
— image credit: Kyra Low/The Mirror

The cow tongues were still frozen solid, so a small scaly chicken foot had to be used instead.

The chicken feet looked eerily similar to something else.

"I thought chickens had talons," Stephanie Van Bramer said. "Not like fingernails."

Van Bramer, who will be starting her freshman year at Thomas Jefferson High School this fall, was one of two dozen ninth-graders participating in St. Francis Hospital's Health Adventures. The four-day camp gives students a taste of the medical field.

The free program is held at three of Franciscan Health System local hospitals, including St. Francis in Federal Way.

Each day focuses on a different medical area — not just doctors and nurses, but also those who work in the radiology department, lab and pathology.

"Of course we want nurses because there is a demand for them," volunteer coordinator Toni Myhre said. "But this is an opportunity to experience those other professions as well."

Tuesday night's lesson was on the ER (emergency room), where they would be faced with suturing a wound, hence the chicken feet, which had been slashed for the students to learn how to close the gapping skin.

The chicken feet's likeness to a hand was a bit disturbing to some of the students, and instructors reminded them that hands would be one of the things they would deal with in the medical profession.

"I think I could get over this," Auburn Riverside freshman Courtney McBride said, "if it wasn't dead."

Federal Way Public Academy freshman Manpreet Riar wasn't grossed out. She's known since fifth grade that she wanted to work in the medical field, either as a surgeon, a nurse or a respiratory therapist. She's already visited Highline Community College's respiratory therapist program for some training and information.

Students also practiced the different types of CPR for the different age categories, including infants, toddlers and adults.

The camp will be available again next year. Students interested in the program can get more information at www.fhshealth.org.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates