HISD’s Booker T. Washington High School is usually known for its magnet engineering program, but some students there have an interest in healthcare—and one first-year school nurse is helping them to explore it.
Worthing High School alumna Shara Fontaine, who joined Team HISD in 2014 after nine years as a labor and delivery nurse and a stint in the U.S. Air Force, resurrected the student health club at Washington last fall to better serve students with career aspirations in healthcare. The club now has about 15 members, and Fontaine has been coordinating special activities to further stoke their interest in that field.
“Here at Washington, the focus is engineering,” explained Fontaine, “so my goal is to take the students who are interested in medical careers and introduce them to that world.”
So far, Fontaine has organized a field trip to the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science (AKA “The Health Museum”), where students dissected sheep hearts and learned more about how the human circulatory system works, and a campuswide safe driving presentation, in which students tested out simulators that mimicked the experience of driving while impaired, and played games that demonstrated how “off” one is in an inebriated state.
“I just want to give the kids something to look forward to after high school,” said Fontaine. “I am hoping that they will gravitate to and actually desire healthcare careers.”
A visit to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where students will tour various trauma units, is in the planning stages now for March.