CHADRON – In a typical year, about 175 regional high school students convene on campus for the annual Health Professions Showcase. However, earlier this fall, it became clear the 2020 Chadron State College Showcase would need to transition from in-person to online in order to abide by COVID-19 safety regulations.
Director of the Health Professions Program Kristal Kuhnel obtained approval from the Dean of Business, Math, and Science Dr. Wendy Waugh for the change in format. Kuhnel participated in an online conference in July which prompted her to think about ways CSC’s online showcase could keep viewers engaged.
Early in September, Kuhnel met with Health Professions Club members and asked for volunteers to help create videos about the aspects of health professions important to them. Twenty-five students signed up to help launch the project. Digital Graphic Designer Daniel Binkard visited the meeting and provided recording advice. He also recorded several videos working with Kuhnel and the students.
“Daniel was just amazing. He gave them important tips and they took it from there and ran with it,” Kuhnel said. “The willingness and dedication of our students to step up, take the time and create these videos was so inspiring and energizing. They never cease to amaze me.”
As part of the initiative, Kuhnel revised the health professions website and added 28 pages of new content with assistance from IT Specialist Alva Roberts. Within three weeks, 17 videos were created and embedded on the showcase website which launched Oct. 9.
The videos also reflect input from community health professionals. Kuhnel said that during a conversation with Nathan Hough, Chief Executive Officer at Chadron Community Hospital, to discuss the possible use of their lab to create a video of a blood draw, he proposed the idea of conducting a COVID-19 swab.
“We appreciated his active participation and that a medical laboratory scientist at the hospital was glad to demonstrate that process for us,” Kuhnel said.
Some videos provide glimpses into the day-to-day activities of a pharmacist, optometrist, and dentist practicing in Chadron. Other videos include a visual chemistry experiment that created a foam called elephant toothpaste, student interviews, tips for preparing for health careers, introductions to faculty, an overview of the Rural Health Opportunities Program, and a local veterinarian removing a grub from the side of a feline.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator