MOUNT VERNON — For the second year in a row, 100 percent of the seniors in the health technologies lab at Knox County Career Center have passed the National Health Science Education Examination. The exam, given nationwide to all seniors in health technology or allied health programs, measures the students’ mastery of basic skills and knowledge that workers in all aspects of the healthcare field need to know and is based on National Healthcare Foundation standards.
“It was an intense test,” said McKinze Norton.
“It was like an overview of everything,” added Kirby Brandenburg.
“It was nerve-wracking,” declared Nikkiey McDonald. “We had to remember everything we learned in the past two years.”
The scope of the examination includes academic foundations such as human physiology, diseases and disorders and medical math. It covers technical skills such as vital signs, CPR and first aid . Medical terminology, healthcare delivery systems and infection control are other topics included in the test, as are employability skills, ethics and legal responsibilities.
“I’m very proud of the seniors,” said instructor Pat Lombardo. “They really worked hard. What makes this 100 percent [pass rate] so incredible is that the test also required critical thinking and problem solving skills in all area of medicine. It’s not all just simply ‘what bone is the longest bone in the human body?’ It also dealt with areas — like managing meetings — that we discuss in class but don’t focus on so much because we are so involved with the skills.
“Some of the things you really can’t study for, things like conflict resolution: You don’t get along with an STNA on your unit. How do you solve this? Another thing was military time: If the doctor ordered a prescription to be given at 2200 hours, what time, nonmilitary time, would you give this medication? We talk about it in class, but we focus more on hands-on. That’s what makes this 100 percent so incredible.”
Lombardo said the average pass rate in the state of Ohio is 60 percent to 62 percent.