Students in the AdventHealth University (AHU) Physician Assistant (PA) program recently participated in the annual pre-participation sports physicals given to high school students in Volusia County, Florida, United States.
Held at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, the event gave AHU students hands-on field experience with community members.
The pre-participation sports physicals were for student athletes in grades 6 to 12 and included free medical screening, a vitals screening, an electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG), and an assessment of functional movement.
“To have AdventHealth University jump on board and say, ‘We’d love to be involved’ was an answered prayer,” Erik Nason, manager of sports medicine partnerships at AdventHealth, said. Nason helped to organize the event.
As a part of their training, AHU’s PA students are required to attain 40 community service hours. Typically, the program provides student volunteers who help with pre-participation sports physicals for Jones High School at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
For this year’s event, Nason sent an internal email requesting volunteers, and Ann Marie LeVine, PA program medical director, responded by offering her students.
AHU’s PA students took part on the last day of the three-day event, where more than 800 student athletes had registered for a physical. The PA students helped approximately 350 of those athletes. Although other volunteers were present at the event that day, the AHU volunteers were the main group providing physical examinations.
“I am thankful not only to have had this learning experience but to also take part in serving the community using skills that I have learned during my time at AdventHealth University in PA school,” student Jonathan Bohner said.
“It was an excellent experience for our students. They were able to perform the physical exams independently,” LeVine said. “They left there feeling very good about what they did for the day and how they touched so many people.”
LeVine said that the PA program will continue going to the pre-participation sports physical event at the Daytona International Speedway. It will serve not only as a good experience for the students of AHU but also for community students.
PA student Ysatis Hernandez said she enjoyed the hands-on physical examinations and teamwork she experienced that day.
“Daytona Speedway came as an opportunity for our class to achieve outreach service hours within our community, but it was so much more than a simple service hours ‘check-off,’ ” Hernandez said. “It felt as if each family happily entrusted AHU’s PA students with the care of their children. It was as if they were actively training the providers of tomorrow to grow, learn, and compound knowledge in a stress-free environment.”
Through participation in this event, organizers said, the AHU PA program actively followed its calling of educating knowledgeable and compassionate health-care providers who embrace a mission of service to others and Christ’s healing ministry.