CHHS honors medical students with inaugural pinning ceremony

Published 8:24 am Thursday, January 26, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer 

CHELSEA – Chelsea High School healthcare students donned white robes as they looked toward their futures in the health care industry during the inaugural White Jacket and CPCT Pinning Ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

The First annual White Jacket and CPCT Pinning Ceremony was held in the Chelsea High School Auditorium at 8:30 a.m. with a reception afterward in Instructor Andrea Maddox’s surgical tech room.

“It was such a fantastic day,” Maddox said. “A lot of hard work and planning went in to making this student-led event a success.”

The inaugural event was the vision of CHHS hunior, Cassidy Reynolds, who first proposed the ceremony.

“(She) cast a vision for this wonderful ceremony, and she worked tirelessly to see it come together,” Maddox said “I can’t thank her enough for wanting to honor her peers in such a meaningful way and for committing so much of her time and effort into creating an event our program will be able to celebrate for years to come.”

Reynolds shared how the event came about.

“I have always wanted to start an annual tradition here at Chelsea High School, and my idea of a miniature, high school version of a medical White Coat Ceremony, was the perfect fit for the tradition that I wanted to leave behind me, as I move into college in one more short school year,” Reynolds said. “While planning my idea of this ceremony, I have found that no other high school in the state of Alabama has done something similar.”

The event served as a rite of passage to celebrate senior health science internship students who received a national Certified Patient Care Technician credential and earned the opportunity to attend hands-on patient care clinicals at Shelby Baptist Medical Center and Heart South Cardiovascular Group.

“I could not be more proud of this group of clinical interns,” Maddox said. “Together, they achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the National Healthcareer Association Certified Patient Care Technician exam, earning the privilege to attend hands-on patient care clinicals and observe surgical procedures this semester.

“These real-world experiences will further prepare each of them to become work-force ready and lay a groundwork for success in their educational endeavors following high school graduation.”

Reynolds shared her enthusiasm for what the graduating class has accomplished.

“I feel so proud of the class of 2023 for having a 100 percent pass rate on the NPCT exam—they truly break pre-existing and harmful stigmas against CTE students,” she said. “It was an honor getting to read where each of these seniors are attending college and what their career aspirations are, as they were donned their first medical scrub jacket.”

During the ceremony each student recognized came forward and donned their white jacket and received a pin from Maddox.

“Yesterday’s ceremony filled my cup,” said Julie Godfrey, Career and Technical Education Supervisor. “It reminded me of why I do what I do. It was amazing last year to see this program come to fruition, for students to complete the pathway and for students to complete their certification and clinicals.

“This is the second class at CHHS to do an internship but the first white coat ceremony. I love that the ceremony was student-led. This is what it’s all about. As I listened to each student’s plan after high school, it was apparent that this program has aided them greatly in their next steps post-high school. That is what Career and Technical Education is all about—providing students with the academic, technical skills, knowledge and training to succeed in their future endeavors.”