KENS 5 Anchor Sarah Forgany and KENS 5 partner Credit Human presented CTE Health Science Teacher Nicole Bernal with the EXCEL Award for Randolph Field ISD. She received a $1,000 check from KENS 5 partner Credit Human as part of the KENS 5 EXCEL Award.
Right out of high school, Nicole Bernal hit the ground running working as an EMT and going to college. “I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and it just kind of fit. I worked at University Hospital in the emergency room.”
Bernal is still a certified EMT, only she doesn’t ride a truck or work in the hospital anymore. For years now, she’s been teaching students at Randolph high School. She has a reputation for being tough but with a 100% pass rate during the first five years of her program. “She does everything in her power to make sure we’re ready for college,” said Erica Washington, a senior at the school. Bernal’s courses begin with the basics of science and end with Practicum where students get hands on experience in a classroom that’s been transformed into a makeshift clinic. But before they make it to that final course, they must go through an interview process with Bernal herself. “They have to interview with me, kind of like a boss and potential employee so they can start getting used to that process.“
“You’ll graduate high school with your CCMA, your phlebotomy and EKG certification,” Zoe Rawls said who’s almost finished with the program. She graduates this year. Rawls and other kids learn patient assessments, vital signs, and even how to draw blood.
“They practice on each other,” Bernal said, “They practice on me, and on fellow faculty. They volunteer and then we have family members that come in and volunteer.” Bernal says they have externships with clinics where they volunteer at doctor’s offices to get more hands on experience.