Kylei Hopkins, a senior at WHS, participates in the HST program at the high school. During the summer she spent time in the Dominican Republic as part of the gap medics program. Lance Winter Weatherford Star-Telegram
Kylei Hopkins, a senior at WHS, participates in the HST program at the high school. During the summer she spent time in the Dominican Republic as part of the gap medics program. Lance Winter Weatherford Star-Telegram

Weatherford News

HST program opens door for Weatherford student to medical field

By Lance Winter

lwinter@star-telegram.com

September 19, 2017 09:18 AM

Kylei Hopkins doesn’t shy away from the sight of blood.

The Weatherford High School - (WHS) senior doesn’t flinch at things most ordinary people would cringe over. It’s largely in part from the knowledge and training she’s gotten from the courses she’s taken in her Health, Science and Technology classes - (HST).

“What I’ve learned at WHS has been amazing,” Hopkins said. “I wish more people knew about HST. It sets you up once you graduate from high school for a full time paying job. It can take care of you while in college.”

She said students have the option to receive training to become a Certified Nurses Aid, Pharmaceutical Technician ...even an Emergency Medical Technician.

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“It’s a good program,” Hopkins said. “WHS has set me up for life. If you really try [WHS] can set you up with a career by the time your 18.”

The principles of Health Science classes expose students to different health careers, while the Health Science and Practicum in Health Science classes, allow students a personal perspective of the entire health field. Students in advanced classes have the opportunity to observe and rotate through area hospitals, nursing homes and the offices of veterinarians and physicians.

Hopkins said she’s “made for the medical field” and proved it over the summer when she traveled to the Dominican Republic as part of the Gap program.

Gap Medics is a specialist company dedicated to providing year-round hospital work experience to students 16 years and over.

Their programs in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean offer the opportunity to gain insight into the work of doctors, nurses, physician assistants, midwives and dentists before prospective students begin clinical training. Attendees receive beneficial experience to help with university applications and interviews while learning more about the medical profession.

“I had two choices,” Hopkins said. “I could have gone to Washington D.C for four days or to the Dominican Republic for two week for the same price.”

She said the choice was simple.

“There was a lot more opportunity in the Dominican Republic,” Hopkins said. “I worked in orphanages and in the hospital; they let you see and do a great deal.”

Hopkins said mission work is her goal with an emphasis on becoming a trauma surgeon. She said her path for getting there begins with EMT training in December. After that she hopes to be accepted into the fire academy before eventually applying as a pre-med student at a college she has yet to determine.

As for Hurricane Irma that pummeled the Dominican Republic recently, Hopkins said she knows those injured by the storms fury will be taken well care of by doctors on the small Caribbean island.

“It’s amazing how hard they work,” she said. “I was there just two weeks but the experience has changed my life.”

Patricia Hoffman RN, BSN and HST Instructor at WHS admires Hopkins for her enthusiasm and dedication.

“She’s going to rule the world one day,” Hoffman said with a smile on her face. “We are so proud of Kylei’s accomplishments and so proud that she got her start at Weatherford High School.”

Lance Winter: 817-390-7274

Twitter: @LanceWinter

Courses offered in HST

▪ Principles of Health Science

▪ Medical Terminology

▪ Health Science Theory

▪ Practicum in Health Science

▪ Anatomy & Physiology

HOT jobs and wages:

Biomedical Engineers $76,000

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $63,400

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics $29,300

Medical and Health Services Managers $83,800