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Fremont High health students go hands-on with personal protective equipment

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As healthcare workers don personal protective equipment just about every day, students at Fremont High School recently got to step into their shoes.

Students in Tucker Platt’s Introduction to Health Science class took part in a PPE lab activity in which they wore the equipment and learned more about its uses earlier this month.

“They thought it was kind of goofy at first, putting on these different gowns and hair covers and stuff in class,” he said. “But they ultimately thought that it was a really cool experience and had a lot of fun with it.”

This is Platt’s first year as a physical education and family consumer science teacher at FHS. Getting to wear PPE is typical of Introduction to Health Science, as Kim Harrill’s class took part in the lab last April.

“It’s an exploratory class where students are able to learn a broad overview of the different systems of the body and medical field,” Platt said. “It’s basically to try to give the students an understanding and give them a feel for if they’re interested in going into the health career field.”

Along with hands-on activities, the students also get to hear first-hand from healthcare professionals, including those working at Methodist Fremont Health.

“We just had a panel of different positions, and each of them told the class how they got into their career field and what it took to get there and why they enjoy what they’re doing, and then there was some question-and-answer time with those panelists,” Platt said.

The students’ PPE lab on Sept. 1 started off with them watching a video demonstration on the steps of how to don and doff the equipment, while staying sanitary at the same time.

Through the lab, the students followed the steps to put on gloves, masks, gowns, shoe covers and bouffant covers before removing them safely.

“After that, we also practiced putting on surgical gloves and then had a practice with the sterile field kit and just taking things out and making sure that you’re not contaminating any of the materials that you would be using,” Platt said.

With the class, Platt said the students have been able to discuss what they and society have experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re able to just see the PPE that the healthcare professionals were using during that time, and then also what they’re using every single time they take a step into a situation that could be potentially harmful or infectious,” he said.

Platt said the class’ hands-on activities are important to give students small glimpses of what healthcare professionals go through on a daily basis.

“That’s something that they’re definitely going to take part in if they choose to go into that career field,” he said, “so I think it’s really important that we include those in the classroom.”

Honeywell posts fourth-quarter adjusted earnings and sales that beat forecasts on double-digit growth in automation and PPE products and services sales.

CBC News tracked some of the billions of dollars the federal government spent on personal protective equipment during the pandemic and found the early days were tumultuous and two large contracts went to companies that seemingly had no pre-pandemic experience procuring PPE.

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