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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Medical Assisting students volunteer for moms-to-be expo

July 19, 2016

Hesperia-Medical-Assisting-student-takes-blood-pressureAlmost 3,000 expectant moms and their families came to the High Desert Baby Expo at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville recently to get health and baby care information and lots of goodies to take home.

This first-time event attracted more attention and enjoyed greater attendance than was expected. “There were so many there, even the organizers were surprised and quite pleased with the turnout,” says Matthew Heckmer, SJVC Hesperia‘s High School Admissions Advisor.

SJVC was one of many sponsors to set up a booth and provide services, information and gifts – such as baby care packages – to expectant moms.

Medical Assisting student volunteers stayed busy administering blood pressure checks, demonstrating CPR on an infant mannequin and educating moms-to-be about potential health concerns, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, along with infant health behaviors.

“Medical Assisting students knew it was an opportunity for them to practice their soft skills, like striking up a conversation with people, and how to be relaxed when dealing with someone who might be a little hot and cranky,” says Matthew. “It teaches them how to understand a situation and how to respond professionally.”

Other booths provided massage therapy and lots of other pampering services for moms. A variety of food trucks dotted the grounds outside the main convention hall, and kids enjoyed face-painting and a bounce house.

“It was a great event that allowed the students and staff of SJVC to give back to the community and provide expecting mothers with health care information, as well as allowing our students to work on their skills and professionalism,” says instructor Robin Harris, who also attended this event.

Medical students also benefit from this kind of volunteer work as a chance to meet professionals in their field and scout potential employment opportunities.

Stephanie Rutherford, a Medical Assisting instructor who attended this event, mentioned that a representative from a medical group asked her that day about one of the Medical Assisting student volunteers. They had an interest in hiring that student when she was finished with her externship. An introduction was made and a plan was in place to begin the hiring process.

Medical Assisting students who volunteered for the High Desert Baby Expo included Ilse Rojas Meza, Brittany Webb, Hailey Espinoza, Yvette Farias, Alexis Dominguez, Miesha Swain, Angie Zalazar, Devora Perez and Summer White.

“Our students really enjoyed themselves,” says Matthew. “We were giving away baby onesies to all the moms who did blood pressure checks, and some of them were very interested in infant care advice.”

SJVC students are committed to their communities and to the professions they are about to enter.

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