Gifted and talented students at Harlan County High School recently participated in the “Pulse of Surgery” program, allowing them to witness open heart surgery being performed.
Harlan County High School Gifted and Talented Coordinator Kim Howard explained how the program got its start.
“This is a program we have put together for our students,” Howard said. “There are several of them that are interested in the medical field, so we thought this would be an opportunity for them.”
The program took some time to set up.
“We started working on this probably in March,” Howard said. “The lady over the Gifted and Talented program for our district, Jean Ann Lee, is the one who found the program and thought it would be a great idea for our students to participate. Then she handed it over to me and I got everything organized.”
Howard mentioned the program is also beneficial to those students who aren’t particularly interested in the field of medicine.
“It’s something different for them to experience,” Howard said. “What we’re doing is skyping with the surgical team in a hospital performing an open heart surgery.”
The students witnessed the procedure via Skype from the Kentucky Science Center in Louisville.
According to Howard, the idea is to provide the students in the gifted and talented program something above and beyond the ordinary offerings.
Howard explained the students were able to speak with and ask questions of the surgical team during the procedure.
“We were not allowed to take any pictures or video of the surgery, but they can ask any questions about the patient’s history and lifestyle,” Howard said. “They can ask anything other than something identifying the patient.”
Howard said there is a possibility the program will be scheduled again next year.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde.