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5 Things to Know Before Joining the Biomedical Academy

Attention incoming middle schoolers! Are you having trouble choosing an academy at Ferguson? Well, Biomedical is one of the largest and most popular academies at Ferguson. Most incoming students tend to choose Biomedical but before you do, here are five things you should keep in mind before choosing this academy.

1. The course load can be difficult to handle sometimes. 

The Biomedical academy at Ferguson has a lot to offer students. Whether you’re in Veterinary Science or First Responders, there’s a place for everyone in the Biomedical academy. It allows you to get hands-on experience working with patients as a senior, if you take the pre-professional nursing strand. However, in order to get there, you spend a lot of class time learning about bedside manner, medical terminology, and practical skills that are necessary for success in the field.

The first 2 years of the program are for learning the fundamental skills that every medical student should know, regardless of the field. The last 2 years of high school (junior and senior year) are when you go more in depth in your branch. These classes can be very stressful, which is why you need to be aware ahead of time of the stress you are bound to encounter. A piece of advice from junior Jonathan Elvir is to, “study the terms and do not cheat because you will regret it later on in high school.” That’s why it’s important to keep in mind the course load for the academy and branch you’ll be joining in order to guarantee success whichever you may choose.

2. Make sure to choose the branch within Biomedical that is perfect for you.

If you’re reading this article, you probably might not know exactly what a “branch” is. A branch is the specific section of the academy that you are specializing in. For example, your academy may be Biomedical but the branch you are in is Sports Medicine. There are many different branches to choose from at Ferguson. The academy offers Nursing, EKG, EMR, Sports Medicine, First Responders, Vet, and so much more!

Should you choose to join a specialized branch as a freshman (Vet, Sports Medicine), your course progression will be different from those in the Nursing and EKG route. Another important think to note: you will not be able to switch out of your academy once you commit to Biomedical. You will only be able to change the branch you specialize in. For example, if you decide you no longer want to take veterinary science, you can switch to EKG but you can’t switch to the DASH academy. This is why it is so important to choose the branch/academy that most interests you and most suits your future career, whether it’s in the medical field or otherwise.

“Think carefully if [a specific branch] is what you really want to do because if you are a sophomore and hate [the branch] and realized that it is not for you it will be too late because there is no point in changing your branch,” said Melanie De La Cruz, junior.

3. You will spend a lot of time studying for certifications as a senior.

Each branch in the Biomedical field has certifications that their students will have the opportunity to obtain. These certifications help students who are interested in gaining pre-professional skills to ease the transition to jobs in the medical field. Students who obtain these certifications successfully will have professional expression that other high school students may not have when it comes time to apply for college or for a job.

Certifications range from becoming CPR certified to getting a CMAA certification in Nursing. These certifications are specific for every branch and are useful you decide to pursue a career in the area you chose to specialize in.

“[Biomedical] provides me with a lot of opportunities and it allows me to kick start my medical career with providing me with the information I need along with providing me with many different certifications that will help me get started with my career and school after I am out of high school,” said Anthony Casanola, EKG junior.

4. Do not procrastinate paying off your class fees and always have your scrubs/uniform on!

A major component of Biomedical are the class fees and scrubs/uniform. For those who do the pre-professional medicine branches (nursing, EKG), the class fees are $10 and the scrubs are $38 every year. You must purchase a new pair of scrubs every year because the scrubs change in color depending on your grade level and course. It is mandatory that every student buys their scrubs because you will be graded for wearing them every class. “I really enjoy wearing them but it is $38 every year and it is mandatory to wear on the day you have the class or you can get an F for the day,” pointed out Alisha Bhanji, sophomore.

So, it is important that you follow the rules and pay all your dues. For Nursing students in 12th grade, there are a few requirements you must follow. You cannot wear acrylics, dye your hair, wear heavy jewelry, or have a piercing that is not in the earlobes because as a senior, you will begin working in a nursing home. When you go to the nursing home, you also have to wear white shoes and white socks along with your scrubs.

Other branches, like Vet and Sports Medicine keep the same scrubs for all 4 years but you do have to pay a class fee every school year. The First Responders branch has their own specific uniform that you must wear as part of your grade. Wear the proper attire to guarantee success in your classes!

5. Explore the different opportunities you will have by being in the Biomedical academy, including clubs, future career choices, GPA, etc. 

The Biomedical academy provides its students with many opportunities to improve themselves academically, as well as professionally. Biomedical has three clubs: Premed, HOSA and FFA. Premed is a club that offers several field trips to interesting places and hosts meetings. They also host awareness months in which they put up posters. HOSA is a club where they compete and take their club members to different competitions relating to medicine such as CPR and learn about the field of medicine overall.

FFA is the club for veterinary students. As an FFA member, participants do many things including going to competitions, meetings, and raising your own animal. It is important to keep in mind how useful your branch will be for your career in the future. The certifications you obtain while in Biomedical can make your college application and job resume compelling. Since some Biomedical classes are difficult, it is vital that you get exceptional grades in order for your GPA not to drop.

Whether or not you decide to join the Biomedical academy, you will have a great time attending John A Ferguson. See you next fall, future Falcons!

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