Paramount, CA – Paramount High School graduate Angie Camez just completed her school’s Patient Care Pathway program – a four-year gauntlet of patient medical record-keeping, medical techniques and more than 170 hours of clinic work – which encouraged her to pursue a career in the medical field as a pediatrician.
“The Patient Care Pathway program gave me the skills I needed to get a step closer to the career I wanted,” said Camez, who will pursue studies in medicine at Johnson & Wales University this fall. “I worked in a clinic with a great pediatrician and I loved interacting with children and helping them get over their fear of doctors by calming them down.”
Camez is among nearly 100 students in the class of 2017 to finish the Patient Care Pathway program, launched nine years ago at Paramount High. In that time, more than 1,000 students have passed through the program to learn medical field skills including how to draw blood, and perform CPR.
The program offers a sequence of yearlong classes for grades nine through 12, engaging up to 800 students. It is one of four pathways offered by Paramount High School’s career technical education program, which provides students with academic and technical instruction to prepare them for the job market.
By the end of the Patient Care Pathway program, students are able to perform medical field tasks, such as being able to use medical office software and equipment as well as administer medical examinations. Graduating students can also achieve a variety of certifications, including first aid, CPR and venipuncture.
When a student completes the program, they can become certified as both an administrative medical assistant for clerical work and medical assistant for providing patient care.
“It’s amazing to see these students come into my class and mature into careers in the medical field,” Patient Care Pathway lead educator Laura Galvan said. “It’s even better to have the students come back with their bachelors or masters degrees and show how much they were able to accomplish by participating in this program.”
Since the program’s inception, Paramount High has partnered with dozens of medical clinics in the Paramount and Downey area, including the Kaiser Permanente summer youth program and Long Beach Search and Rescue.
Galvan said working with clinics is a major advantage for helping students find gainful employment, with an average of 15 to 20 students directly hired by the program’s partners each year. The program has also inspired many of its graduates to pursue medical careers, ultimately becoming doctors, nurses and physical therapists.
“The program is great at exposing students to the multiple careers they can have in the medical field,” CTE teacher Patricia Jacobo said. “They’re learning how to problem solve, to think critically and to use their skills in real-world situations.”
Galvan said the growing program has begun to include courses on medical specialties, such as sports medicine. Paramount plans to partner with more clinics and medical programs and acquire additional medical equipment to expand procedures students can perform.
“Paramount High’s Patient Care Pathway program is an amazing offering because it teaches our students about so many avenues of the medical field and provides opportunities to use that knowledge,” Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said. “The pathway is helping our students achieve career readiness and college success.”
062317_PARAMOUNT_PATIENTCARE1: The Paramount High School Patient Care program teaches students to administer medical examinations and perform first aid and CPR.
062317_PARAMOUNT_PATIENTCARE2: More than 1,000 students have passed through the Paramount High Patient Care Pathway program, which prepares students for careers in the medical field, since it was launched nine years ago.