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A walk to remember
Porterville Health Academy offers 'Tour de Corpus'
The Porterville Health Academy students offered an interesting walk Thursday, one that people can say was definitely unique — walking through the body.
The students, four year seniors of Porterville Unified’s Pathway program at Porterville High School currently studying the Emergency Medical Technician unit, had exhibits and presentations of several different human body systems — musculoskeletal, digestive, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, integumentary and respiratory — all set at the Whitney Room at Sierra View District Hospital.
Each station was manned by teams of three or more students, all of them ready to explain what that particular human body system does, how it works, and how it relates to their unit of study.
After three students explained about the muscles and bones of the body, including what injuries could result by damaging various sections along the spine, a fourth student, Christian Avalos, stepped forward for his part of the presentation.
“As EMTs, we can only do so much,” he said. “We want to protect the spine as much as possible.”
The students demonstrated, using Avalos as the patient, the proper procedure for placing a cervical collar, an emergency neck brace, on someone who has been in an accident. They also explained the reasons why a short board or a long spinal board might be used on a patient.
The next station — complete with a human facial mask, a funnel, numerous tubes, and other ordinary apparatus ending in a bucket — represented an internal look into the digestive system.
The students talked about digestion from the moment food or drink entered the mouth until it left the body. The students also touched on emergency cases of appendicitis, the inflammation of the appendix, and treatment for dehydration.
The body systems continued, with students at each station describing, and demonstrating, different body organs and systems as they covered everything from brain function and strokes to the endocrine system, talking about first degree, second degree and third degree burns.
In the cardiovascular system, students talked about oxygenated and de oxygenated blood cells.
Next to that station was the respiratory station, where Sadie Cotten and Elyssa Garcia talked about the lungs, asthma, bad Valley air, smoking and cancer and how it relates to the respiratory system.
A student-made apparatus with balloons demonstrated how the lungs inflate and deflate with breathing. They also had two sets of real human lungs — one set healthy, and one set diseased by cigarette smoking.
The tour’s purpose was twofold — serving as education for the public and reinforcement of the learned systems for the students. It was the first time the class had done such a project.
“We did this about a month ago at school and our advisory board thought it would be good have this here for the public,” said class instructor, Pamela Avila, RN. “I’m always looking for kids to really learn what they study, making it understandable.”
The students also represent the first class to enter the Porterville Health Academy as freshmen.
“This is the first class with four years of indoctrination. Prior to this they came in as sophomores. They have been studying parts of the body and doing job shadowing,” Avila said. “I’m pleasantly surprised how much depth they understand and how they have grasped the information. I am very proud of them.”
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.