Educating future health care workers

SCVT student Megan Flores drives a power wheelchair, assisted by Sean Bielefeldt, Matheny director of recreation therapy.

The Health Occupations program at the Somerset Vocational & Technical High School in Bridgewater, NJ, offers its students the chance to learn about and experience career opportunities in health care. Students participate in clinical experiences at a variety of health care settings, shadowing health care professionals while they are working.

Recently, a group of nine Somerset Vo-Tech students visited Matheny. Each of the students identified a discipline of interest and spent a morning observing and assisting therapists and pharmacists while they were working with patients. The students also learned how to communicate with nonverbal patients by using various forms of augmentative communications systems. And they got to experience what it’s like to drive a power wheelchair with both a joystick and a head array and complete transfers with a mechanical lift system.