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ST. MARYS — Students in a local medical program recently received donations of various types of medical equipment that they can use in their classroom.
Mitch Eiting, of Midmark, made more than $19,000 in donations to Tri Star’s Med Prep program. Those donations included a new autoclave, a new portable EKG, a dental chair with accessories and a hi-lo table. The equipment will be used as part of exercises throughout the year, Med Prep instructor Janet Nelson said.
“We’ll have someone who’s a patient, and we’ll have to ‘perform’ procedures and things,” Med Prep student Joni Brown said of their new dental chair. “It came with everything.”
Their old chair didn’t have an overhead light.
“The new chair gives us an opportunity to actually be able to use it,” Med Prep student Brittany Sudhoff said.
Brown said the new chair is especially beneficial for her.
“I want to go into dental hygiene, so this is good for me to see,” she said.
The hi-lo exam table enables better accessibility with patients.
“If you have an older patient, or someone in a wheelchair, it can go down to wheelchair height so they can get on it easier,” Sudhoff said.
“They can scoot right onto it,” Brown added.
Sudhoff said they just have to press a button to bright the table back up.
“It can go back up to physical height so it’s easier for the doctor than being down low,” she said.
Brown noted the students recently utilized the table.
“We recently did a check up with physical exercises,” she said.
The autoclave, the students noted, helps when it comes to cleaning equipment.
“The autoclave is used to sterilize equipment,” Brown said.
Sudhoff noted the students’ older version, which they can still use, required more effort.
“The older one took a lot more work,” she said. “For us, now it’s mostly pressing a button,” she said.
“It’s a lot less complicated,” Brown added.”
It helps the students, Nelson said, to have both machines.
“It’s a good thing for them to learn both because they don’t know what they’re going to get into when they get a job,” she said. “I had a former student who is using the newer version, but some offices have the older one.”
Med Prep student Casey Storer echoed Nelson.
“We get to learn the new and the old,” she said. “Just because our other one is old doesn’t mean we can’t use it, you never know what you’re going to use.”
Nelson said her students will be going over dental exercises in December, and they will start using the EKG their third quarter.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Brown said of the equipment. “It gives us the knowledge of what we will see at work.”
Sudhoff noted the donated equipment helps keep the Med Prep students up to date on what they’re learning.
“The technology is changing so fast, so it’s important that we keep up with it,” she said.
Brown added it will also add familiarity when they enter the workforce.
“It gives us the experience to see what it’s going to be like for work,” she said.
Sudhoff noted their experience will also help in college.
“Going into college, anything we have already have the knowledge of how to operate will help us be one step ahead,” she said.