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PLTW Students Excel in Nursing Assistant Course

Jennifer Doran has a passion for teaching and preparing students for occupations in the health and medical field. Jennifer has been a PLTW Teacher for five years and a Human Body Systems (HBS) Master Teacher for three years. Jennifer's school – New London High School in New London, Wisconsin – has implemented all four PLTW Biomedical Science courses and has integrated HOSA with the PLTW courses. 

During the 2015-16 school year, New London High School in partnership with our local technical college  added a nursing assistant course. The students who enrolled in this class had taken two or more PLTW Biomedical Science courses, and the background knowledge that the PLTW courses provided for them helped them excel in the course.  

The PLTW courses taught them about many diseases and illnesses that are common to patients who they would encounter in the nursing field. For example, students in the nursing assistant course were required to know about diabetes, and from the lessons learned in the Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS) class, they were all set. They had the knowledge already. The nursing assistant course participants also needed to understand different body parts and how they function; they learned this in their HBS class. They also needed to know how to take pulses, respiratory rates, and temperature. From labs done in HBS, they were already prepared for these.  

In addition, the terminology used in the nursing assistant course was a breeze for the students, as they had already learned those terms from the PLTW curriculum.  

The students were able to complete the nursing assistant course with ease because of their PLTW courses. They now have an additional three college credits and the ability to apply for a job working with real patients. They will now have the opportunity to gain patient contact hours, which are required for many jobs in the healthcare and medical field, prior to graduating high school. The skills students developed through PLTW and the nursing assistant course can be applied in many healthcare and medical careers. And finally, these students can begin earning money through a job as a nursing assistant once they pass their state exam to become a certified nursing assistant.

PLTW’s blog is intended to serve as a forum for ideas and perspectives from across our network. The opinions expressed are those of each guest author.