Medical Emergency Simulation and Career Exploration for High School Students Held at NCC

On Tuesday, November 16, Northwest Iowa Community College’s Health Science programs hosted over 30 area high school students from Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Rock Valley, and Trinity Christian high schools to explore the career fields of: EMS, Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Pharmacy Technology, Medical Lab Technology, Heath Information Technology, and Medical Coding.

The day consisted of mini-sessions in which each program instructor explained their respective career field and NCC’s program. The high school students then watched an emergency care simulation performed by NCC healthcare instructors, alongside the Sheldon Community Ambulance Team (SCAT), in which all of the healthcare programs worked together for a common goal of saving the patient — just like in a real emergency situation.

The simulation was of an emergency trauma scenario in which a person was involved in a vehicle accident because of texting and driving. The simulation started with the SCAT arriving at the accident scene with lights and sirens blaring. They then assessed the “car accident patient” (volunteer crash victim) and brought the patient into the college from the simulated car accident in the parking lot. Once inside the emergency room (NCC Health lab) the instructors took over the simulation using state-of-the-art manikin simulation technology (donated to NCC by the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation) to play the role of the car accident patient. After the patient was diagnosed with injuries and stabilized the last step of this simulation was to prepare the patient for transport to a regional hospital by air.

Gregory Collins, a junior at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn (H-M-S) high school, said, “It is a really cool day. We have received a lot of great information. I am really here for the career exploration. I wanted to see real-life skills and this day delivered. I want the career to fit me as a person and I want a stable job where I don’t have to struggle with a paycheck. I want to really like my job — wake up in the morning and enjoy going to work.” After seeing the emergency simulation Collins commented, “That was crazy! It seems like chaos, but everyone had a job and stuck to it. I can’t believe how calm they stayed. This was very beneficial.
It gave me a new perspective and a lot of respect for what medical professionals go through.”

Margeaux Baskin, life science teacher at H-M-S brought 23 students from her anatomy class. She said, “I thought the day was really nice. It gave students the hands-on learning experience that they enjoy. It also fit really well with what we are learning in class. I think it will peak some interest in the health science career field. Thank you to NCC for hosting this event.”

As the day wrapped up both Kevin Miller, NCC Emergency Services Education Coordinator and Kim Karhoff, Director of Nursing Education, answered student questions and spoke to the students about the importance of teamwork in a healthcare setting. Miller said, “Healthcare is more than just one individual doing a single task, it is a combination of many people working together for a common goal. It is important for students to understand that every career in healthcare has a vital role in patient outcomes and the management of the healthcare system as a whole.”

Karhoff added, “We loved hosting students on campus to highlight different healthcare careers.  It is so important for students to see the importance of teamwork in the healthcare fields.  It was fun to see the students interact with the Simulation manikins in the nursing lab as they used stethoscopes to check heart rates and compare heart rates among our newborn, pediatric and adult manikins.  We look forward to hosting students again next year in our new Building H addition.”

If you are a teacher or guidance counselor interested in setting up a career day campus visit for a specific industry, job shadow opportunities, or other career exploration ideas contact Allie Unrau, NCC Learning Intermediary Network Coordinator, at 800-352-4907 or email her at