Students step out of the classroom for training in treating opioid overdoses and CPR

"Not a lot of students can do this, especially while you're still in high school."

Justin Udo
October 08, 2018 - 1:40 pm
High school students get a training at University of the Sciences in assessing patients and treating opioid overdoses.

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — For most of her life, Katelyn Cyril has watched her mom deal with a heart defect, and that's led her to want to be a cardiologist.

"I want to make her proud by going into that field," Cyril said. "And I clearly think it's interesting, with the science."

So a training at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia was just what the doctor ordered. Cyril, a senior at Central High School, and her classmates got to tour pharmacy practice stations, learn how to assess patients, and treat opioid overdoses.

"To be able to do a hands-on experience with the dummies, and with all these helpful people at U Sciences — it's amazing," Cyril said.

Dr. Laura Waite with the university says the 150 students who are studying pharmacology, forensic science, anatomy and physiology even got a chance to earn the CPR certification.

"We're really excited that we have the opportunity to demonstrate everything that they can do and empower them with different career paths once they graduate," Waite said.

"It's very special," Cyril said, "because not a lot of students can do this, especially while you're still in high school."

The students and teachers say this hands-on experience gives them the opportunity to learn in ways they never could inside of the classroom.

"They're getting that peer-to-peer interaction, networking with the faculty members here," Van Troung, a teacher at Central High School, said. "It's a fun environment and they're learning."

"You can't really get the hands-on experience, unless you're actually doing it, to put yourself in the situations that this would be needed," Cyril said.

She says the training and information she received during the day are things she will always carry with her.

"Just learning this is taking one step into that career that I want to do," Cyril said.

Officials with the university say this is a pilot program, but they hope to be able to continue in the future and work with other high schools.