On Thursday, April 23, 2015, Utah Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school students across the state of Utah will participate in a Virtual Healthcare Interactive (VHI) live broadcast, in partnership with the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) and Intermountain Healthcare.
The two-hour event begins with students watching a pre-recorded mother-infant surgery, followed by a live chat with surgeons/physicians using real-time technology. In conjunction with the live broadcast, students will receive exposure to a variety of healthcare careers related to the surgery, as well as pre- and post-event curricula and activities designed to provide them with the background information they need in order to understand the surgery/procedure.
There will be eight broadcast sites across the state, including those within technology centers. More than 350 high school students from 15 high schools in 7 school districts, as well as physicians from Intermountain Healthcare, will participate in this event. The participating school districts are Cache, Canyons, Juab, Provo, Rich, Tooele, and Weber.
With increased confidentiality concerns, Work-Based Learning experiences have decreased in the healthcare area over the last few years. Engaging students through technology allows hospitals to bring more students into their environment with limited liability exposure and minimal interruption to the hospital.
USOE Health Science Education Specialist Rachel Decker says, “With more stringent privacy laws and regulations, it has become increasingly difficult for students to do job shadows and internships in a hospital setting. Through the Virtual Healthcare Interactive partnership, the students are able to learn about a variety of careers involved in the patient care process and then observe an operation as if they were there in the operating room. They also have the opportunity to interact with the surgeon and ask questions as they are watching the surgery. VHI allows students chances to experience an operating room and surgery that they would normally not have.”
Healthcare is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the U.S., employing over 18 million workers in more than 200 careers. Over the past decade, the healthcare industry has added 2.6 million jobs nationwide. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the U.S. will need 5.6 million more healthcare workers by the year 2020.