The Osseo Health Sciences Program teaches students emergency care

The Osseo Health Sciences Program teaches students emergency care

4:24 pm | Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Osseo High School’s Health Sciences Magnet Program gives students hands-on experience and a head start in the health care field.

The program, which began in the 1970s, offers four different program tracks for students to begin their careers in medicine. These programs include emergency medical services, general medicine, mental health, and nursing.

Juniors and seniors in the EMS program follow a semester system. The first three months offer certification in basic life support, CPR training, and first aid training. Second, it provides certification in emergency medical response. Finally, the third student receives the Emergency Medical Technician Certificate.

“They start with the basics, and work their way to the point where they become employable as emergency medical technicians,” said David Casella, director of the Emergency Medical Services Program. “The market is now ready for them. They can find a job as an emergency medicine specialist, which is a great starting point.”

DEED’s 2022 Job Openings Survey revealed more than 25,000 job openings in health care and social assistance. The publication accompanying the data in 2023 described the need as “severe.”

Ready in a crisis

At Osseo, two-hour classes each day help prepare students for these careers. These classes include classroom teaching and practical practice.

“You never know when you’re going to have an emergency, and being prepared is great,” Casella said. “You want someone who has knowledge of what’s going on, the appropriate treatments, and the ability to do it.”

Instructor Steve Mills guides emergency medicine students through the scenarios they have just practiced.

On Wednesday, the students performed several simulations. One of their colleagues acted like a person in crisis. Students asked the patient questions while providing care.

After playing out the scenarios, students debrief their teachers.

“We want you to know how you’re going to do something, why you’re doing something and what you’re going to do with it,” EMS teacher Steve Mills told the class.

He explained the importance of scenario training and asked them about the patient.

“So what we’re looking for in these scenarios is to give you more than just a patient, but also clues to what the scene is offering you,” Mills said.

Students in the EMS program simulate real-world scenarios in the classroom.

In the middle of the questioning session, Casella interrupted to summon a second group of students to the scene of a simulated bicycle accident.

“We got a phone call from a student who got hurt on the stairs, so grab a package and I’ll get you to where he is,” Casella said, walking into the classroom.

The group quickly mobilized to practice their skills.

A future at work

One Osseo student, Linderfiona Jordan, said she wants to become a midwife. Since starting her freshman year, she said the classes have given her confidence and important skills.

“You can use these things on a regular, daily basis,” Jordan said. “Suppose your little sister falls and sprains her ankle. You know how to splint that.

Another student, Natalie Moa, started the program in her freshman year as well. She hopes to work in the mental health field, and said the collaborative nature of the classes is an advantage.

“It’s really fun and interactive. We learn different skills and learn how to communicate with patients and different people working around us,” Moa said.

It’s a great opportunity for the kids to grow, Casella said. He watches them develop from unsure kids into well-equipped healthcare professionals.

“It’s one of the most amazing things,” Casella said. “I’m constantly impressed by what a high school student can do if you give them the chance.”

Children from the Northwest Suburban Integrated School District magnet program are also welcome to open enrollment by applying for the magnet lottery application. Students from Maple Grove and Park Center are also participating in the program this year.

More information about the program is available on their website.

Osseo Senior High School


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