WAXAHACHIE — The Altus 24-hour Emergency Center has taken in Waxahachie High School health-science students to help them gain experience through a clinical rotations program.

Director of Operations at Altus, Obi Ononobi said, “We want to give them as much transparency and help them towards their career choice.”

With the facility being an ER center, it is always a toss up to see what kinds of situations walk in the door. So, when the students aren’t observing emergency situations, they are learning about the workflow of the hospital, learning about medical equipment and software.

“The advantage to coming to the 24-hour emergency center instead of the hospital is that you will get seen quicker and faster. Altus also prides itself offering services in which physicians and nurses have more time for bedside assistance and patient care, as opposed to the rush of the E.R.,” reads a Waxahachie ISD press release.

Students commonly use the lab on site to learn how to sample blood, how to properly handle it, how to administer a urine drug test, how to read flu/strep and HIV/AIDS tests.

The students shadow not only nurses but all positions that make up the hospital to understands all aspects of patient care. They observe how to work with a patient from registering them until he or she is discharged.

“Learning is basically being fun for them,” Ononobi said.

WHS senior, Olivia Lolley said, “I really enjoy the rotations. I get to see real-life situations are about and not just read about it or do work about it in class.”

Another main focus of the rotations is observing imaging technicians use CTs, cat scans and ultrasounds.

“It was pretty cool to see the pictures of people’s organs and bones,” Lolley said.

Lolley explained that her ultimate goal is to be a doctor. “It’s helping me see if I really want to do that and what it ‘s really like, along with some of the situations and stress that the doctors have to deal with.”

She added, “I feel really blessed because I heard a lot of doctors say they don’t get that experience until after school and they don’t know how a hospital works. It’s really cool that I’m in high school being able to do that. So it’s pretty exciting.

About 40 kids are going through the clinical rotations, and they have all year to accumulate 80 hours of observation. This used to be a program that was done outside of school hours but since the health-sciences program is growing.

Health-science instructor, Lindsay Savala said, “I really wanted them to see all the different aspects of health care. It gives them an opportunity to see the profession in their true nature and environment. It allows them to see the things they might not have thought about.”

The students started the rotations Oct. 23 and will finish Dec. 7.

Ononobi said, “We are really excited about this partnership with WISD, and it is always great to see young people eager to learn and excited about the healthcare field.”