News & Announcements

Programs give science club members a glimpse into health professions 

March 31, 2023

Two respiratory therapy students wearing black scrubs show three children a mannekin in an incubator.
Respiratory Therapy demonstration

On March 4, representatives with several School of Health Professions programs came together to host a hands-on session for the CALEB Science Club.  

Attendees were able to learn about and participate in five different career paths in the health professions field: diagnostic medical ultrasound, nuclear medicine, occupational therapy, radiography and respiratory therapy. 

CALEB Science Club participants learned what a diagnostic medical ultrasound is and how it can be used to image various parts of patients’ bodies, including the heart, abdominal organs, muscles and tendons. Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound students also explained what a stroke is, why strokes happen, and how ultrasound can find blockages in the carotid arteries that may cause a stroke. Attendees then had the opportunity to tour the ultrasound lab, see live carotid imaging and even use the ultrasound machine themselves. 

Group photo of Caleb Science Club members and Health Professions faculty and students in Clark Hall
CALEB Science Club members with School of Health Professions students

To learn more about respiratory therapy, CALEB Science Club members were able to work with adult and baby manikins to practice their CPR skills. They practiced suctioning a manikin’s endotracheal tube and making changes to a ventilator, and they also handled a pig heart and lungs to see how they compare with human organs. Finally, participants had a chance to try out a high-frequency chest wall oscillation vest to see what a patient experiences during airway clearance therapy. 

During the radiography section of the event, participants could choose from a selection of household items — including things like keys, stuffed animals and a houseplant — and then radiograph them. Based on the density and atomic numbers of the items they were imaging, CALEB Science Club members tried to predict what the X-ray of each item would look like. Radiography students explained why some areas of images were white while others were darker gray, and they discussed the importance of taking at least two images of every body part. 

The CALEB Science Club gives students in fifth through 12th grades opportunities to learn more about science, medicine and health care. The group is organized by Columbia-based nonprofit Granny’s House, which works to connect members of the local community with residents of public housing.