Calera High School cuts ribbon for new medical diagnostics lab

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

CALERA – Tonya Bright, health science teacher at Calera High School, was all smiles as she closed the blades of a giant blue pair of scissors to ceremonially open Calera High Schools new medical diagnostics lab during an after-school ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 30.

Bright was flanked by Superintendent Lewis Brooks, Principal Myers and Julie Godfrey, supervisor of career technical education, college and career planning and community partnerships, along with a long list of other guests that included members of the Shelby County Chamber, registered nurses and medical professionals.

The lab will serve a primary role in Calera High School’s Diagnostic Services course, which is a one-credit course designed to inform students of the rapid changes in business and industry. The course seeks to accomplish this by offering a wide array of coursework and work-based experiences that seek to aid students in the preparation of a pursuit toward a wide range of health career opportunities.

“We are super excited that the room renovations are complete and students have moved into the new Medical Diagnostics learning lab,” Godfrey said. “The health science lab is set up to provide real world learning and mimics a diagnostic healthcare facility that includes an x-ray machine, phlebotomy station, sonogram, EKG equipment, patient beds, stretcher, patient simulators and much more.”

Seeking to introduce students to careers in diagnostic services, the lab provides a direct contact environment to students that can see, touch and experience the equipment and practices they are learning about. Not only does this involvement get students directly involved in the work—rather than simply reading about the practices, it is hoped that it will directly inspire and drive students to commit to career paths in health and diagnostic services.

“The program is a three-course pathway that provides opportunities for students career exploration and exposes them to a variety of healthcare fields,” Godfrey said. “This pathway culminates with an internship during their senior year with clinical rotations. Students will have an opportunity to take credentials which will better prepare them for a career in healthcare.”

This new lab, which is only a part of the Health Science Career Technical Education Program cluster is yet another addition to the many capital improvements that are ongoing in the Calera community.

“I’m grateful for a district that supports innovation and believes in Career Technical Education,” Godfrey said. “Building new programs such as these is only made possible by our team working together along with industry input and partnerships.”