Health Science Students Begin Semester Long Project


Julia Flores (11) discusses her mock patients symptoms and medical history during a meeting for her health science project on February 11.

Jake Hermanson, Staff Writer

Students in Health Science 2 are starting a large project on the National Health Science Standards under the instruction of Nancy Dettmer. Students will be tasked with diagnosing a mock patient who has been assigned an illness or mental disability by Dettmer.

This is a new project that will take the entire semester to complete as students meet with their patients several times.

“They’ll have three weeks to come up with a diagnosis, and then they’ll meet with their patient again. So over the course of the semester, they’ll meet with their patient four times,” Dettmer said.

Students recruited their patients who were assigned a random illness or disability so that they can practice with someone they are comfortable with.

“There are some tough questions that they’re gonna have to ask. And those questions are easier to ask someone you already have a relationship with as opposed to a complete stranger because this is brand new,” Dettmer said.

A very important part of this project is that students must abide by the HIPPA privacy act. In the real world, disclosing confidential information is grounds for termination of employment and can result in jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.

“I’ve told them I don’t want to see it on social media, I don’t wanna hear it being discussed or get word that it’s being discussed,” Dettmer said. “That is a serious violation.”

Students will be learning about insurance,  how to communicate with patients who don’t speak English, forming a diagnosis, and administering medicine.

“This is completely brand new so it’s kinda wading through murky waters. We’re trying it out this semester,” Dettmer said. “It’s basically project-based learning for the entire semester.”