Teens See Surgery Virtually

Juniors and seniors in the health occupations science technology program at Wheeling Park High School watched a surgeon perform a kidney transplant and organ donation in real time this week, thanks to a live video stream to the school’s media center.

Through “Imagine U: A Virtual Healthcare Experience,” sponsored by the Charleston Area Medical Center and the West Virginia Department of Education, students from about 15 schools across the state including WPHS were able to watch a surgeon from the Charleston Area Medical Center perform a full renal transplant and organ donation on screen as it was actually happening in Charleston.

According to Lisa Stillion, WPHS health science teacher, the surgeon explained the anatomy and physiology of the renal system, demonstrated infection control and isolation and how to care for a patient after surgery. She said the video stream gives students a unique opportunity to interact with a surgeon during a transplant.

“The students can ask the surgeon specific questions through email and he will answer,” Stillion said. “Afterward, the students have worksheets to reflect on their thoughts on the surgery.”

According to Stillion, the Health Science Education program at WPHS gives students a jump start in any health care-related field after graduation. The program also offers students work-based experience in several fields, including as a home health aid, nursing assistant, pre-pharmacy technician, patient care technician, sports trainer and health unit coordinator, among others.