CHSU Engages Aspiring Health Care Professionals

May 3, 2021

In a patient room of the California Health Sciences University (CHSU) Simulation Center, a high school junior finds a good vein on the IV arm task trainer to insert her IV. Leslie Catron, CHSU Simulation Center Director, nods. The student inserts the canula, removes the needle, attaches the extension, and flushes it with saline to rid the tube of the red distilled water creeping in, successfully completing the simulation. For many high school students, this experience at the CHSU Health Careers Bootcamp is the first time they’ve actually practiced techniques used in health care.

NNLM Virtual
Madera South High School students got a bird’s-eye view of a simulation at this virtual bootcamp.

With a focus on the next generation, CHSU is educating and engaging aspiring health care professionals at the high school level and introduce them to the various health care careers. Partnering with four local high schools, CHSU introduced the CHSU Health Careers Bootcamp series where students participate in hands-on health care simulations and learn about health careers from professionals in the field.

As the pandemic continues, CHSU has innovatively adapted to the needs of the individual school districts. CHSU provided a virtual experience for several high school students at Madera South High School in March and Central High School in April, allowing them to experience a Code Blue situation from a bird’s eye view of the CHSU Simulation Center’s Emergency Room.

The Simulation Center team played the roles of EMT, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, respiratory therapist, ECG technician, and physician (who was giving orders over the phone while managing another simulated patient) to help illustrate various health care provider roles during an emergency. The patient was a high-fidelity manikin suffering from severe smoke inhalation after a house fire. Students had the opportunity to direct the CHSU Simulation team on the next steps for treatment and ask questions about the scenario.

During the in-person bootcamp for Sanger High School and Sunnyside High School, each student rotated through five simulation stations where they practiced how to insert an IV, administer an intramuscular (IM) injection, perform CPR, take vitals, administer a nebulizer treatment, and respond to a Code Blue scenario – all on CHSU’s high-fidelity manikins.

All students, whether participating in the virtual or in-person bootcamps, had the opportunity to hear from various health care professionals, explore the medical school admissions process, and learn how to research medical information and careers with the CHSU Health Sciences Library.

Over 75 local high school students have participated in these bootcamps in March and April.

The CHSU Health Careers Bootcamps are made possible with funding from a $20,000 grant awarded to CHSU by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Southwest Region (NNLM-PSR), who offers Express Outreach Awards to support projects that are designed to increase awareness of health information resources for health professionals, consumers, public health professionals, community centers, and minority health practitioners.

CHSU’s goal is to spark high school students’ interest not only in CHSU’s own osteopathic medical and pharmacy schools, but also in collaborating educational institutions offering programs in respiratory therapy, medical assistance, ultrasonography, and dietetics and nutrition through the demonstration of inpatient hospital scenario simulations, as well as outpatient medical office simulation settings.

The grant was used to pay for additional simulation equipment and supplies to allow students to actually practice techniques in a safe environment on manikins and task trainers. Students were able to take home their sample PPE kits including yellow isolation gowns, nitrile gloves, surgical masks and face shields. CHSU was also able to invest in task trainers like Multi-Venous IV Training Arms and CPR manikins that can continue to be used for future bootcamps.

Led by Joanne Muellenbach, CHSU Health Sciences Library Director, the multi-disciplined CHSU Award team includes:

Dr. John Graneto, Dean and Chief Academic Officer of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Vice President of Health Affairs (COM); Dr. Lisa Chun, Associate Dean, Osteopathic Clinical Education and Simulation (COM); Dr. Samuel Kadavakollu, Interim Department Chair of Biomedical Education, Associate Professor, and Director of MCAT and Preparatory Programs (COM); Joanne Muellenbach, Health Sciences Library Director; Katie Hoskins, Research and Instruction Librarian; Kyle Robinson, Electronic and Technical Services Librarian; Leslie Catron, Simulation Center Director and Instructor; Ralph Herrera, Simulation Specialist, Operations; Thayer Merritt, Simulation Specialist, Mixed Reality; Nanami Yoshioka, Standardized Patient Educator; Sierra Ross, Simulation Center Supply Clerk; Richele Kleiser, Vice President, Marketing and Communications; Kayleigh Bader, Marketing Coordinator; Zea Moullet, Director of Admissions (COM); and Julie Lynes, Education Skills Specialist (COM).
For more information about the CHSU Health Careers Bootcamps please contact

Madera South High School:

Sanger High School:

Central High School West Campus:

Sunnyside High School: