By Ronvel Sharper
Richmond High School Health Academy students received a special presentation from Kaiser Permanente as part of a “reverse job shadow day” on February 9. Students in attendance at this first-ever event learned about different medical professions and got a taste of what working in those professions would be like.
Traditional job shadow programs bring students to the workplace, explained Rich Seeber, head teacher of the health academy.
“A reverse job shadow has the health care practitioners come to the school to teach the students,” Seeber said. “It’s a reverse field trip.”
“The goal is to expose Richmond High School Health Academy students to a variety of health occupations while giving them hands on experience,” he said.
Employees discussed careers in everything from herbology to sports medicine. Students also learned about health care compliance issues and patients’ rights to privacy.
Students learned about careers in the mental health field, like social work, marriage and family therapy, being a psychologist who provides therapy, or a psychiatrist who prescribes medications. The education required to do these jobs is post-graduate education along with a bachelor’s degree.
“I liked how I learned about other jobs in health, not just nursing and [being a] doctor,” said Richmond High junior Asiatique Mitchell, age 16.
Mitchell, who is interested in becoming a surgeon or clinical laboratory scientist, says the job shadow presentation gave her a window into different career options in the medical field.
For more than 10 years, the Health Academy at Richmond High has been preparing students to succeed academically in post-high school health fields, including college and technical training.
“This was the first year of the job shadow, and we plan on making it an annual event,” said Seeber. “It helps students prepare for a real job shadow in which they go to a worksite and spend time with health care practitioners in health care settings.”