Students learn health care, line up jobs

April 3, 2009 (CHICAGO) Future doctors, nurses, nurse aides attend Medical and Health Career Academy at Sullivan High School.

The Department of College and Career Preparation affiliated with the Chicago public school system is the driving force behind the Medical and Health Careers Academy at Roger Sullivan High School in the Rogers Park community. The academy prepares high school students for careers in the health field.

Their instructor, Dr. Judy Ginsburg, is a retired head and neck surgeon. She teaches the students how to check for vital signs, draw blood, perform intubations. Students also learn how to read X-rays, MRIs and brain scans.

The academy has given senior Sergio Diaz some direction.

"I want to succeed by either being a doctor or biomedical engineer," said Diaz. "I am determined. I have been prepared here and I know I can take this on."

Sonia Henriquez said the program has changed her life.

"This has been a great eye opener. It has helped me understand what it is that it takes to go into the medical field," said Henriquez.

Dr. Ginsburg also teaches the students how to perform surgical suturing. This is the eight year for the program and the fifth graduating class.

"I am trying to give them a really good science and career foundation," said Dr. Ginsburg. "These are terrific students and they are going to have great careers in medicine."

"It opened my eyes to many different careers," said Mailean Campos, Sullivan student.

"I like everything. I like the opportunities, the really hard schedule we have -- eight courses and that really helps us prepare for college," said Francis Menendez, Sullivan student.

CPS also offers students the chance to become certified nursing assistants.

The program partners with a number of hospitals for internships. The four students ABC7 met on Friday are now interning at Children's Memorial Hospital and will have permanent jobs there.

" I actually have a job and I'm very proud of it. And thanks to the medical programs," said Menendez.

"Being there in the hospital, it gives you a different feeling. And somehow motivates you more to becoming what you want to be," said Sergio.

For the past five years, the program has had 100-percent college acceptance. All four of the senior we interviewed have been accepted to various colleges and all four will be working this summer at children's hospital.

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