Best of Both Worlds

Students further their interest in medical scene through St. Louis CAPS


Photo Submitted by STL CAPS

STL CAPS students take notes as the pediatric nurse shows them the crash cart Oct. 2 at Mercy South Hospital. “Taking notes allows me to refer back to them on our projects,” Delic said. The students got to experience patient care firsthand later on.

It’s another early morning for high school seniors. Grabbing a quick breakfast and rushing out the door, they are ready for the day. Most head to school, while some head to the hospital. They are not patients, but rather students. The hospital is the learning environment for those senior students who were accepted into the St. Louis CAPS program in the medical strand. 

“The CAPS medical strand is a positive environment where every student shares the same passion,” Lejla Pozegic (12) said.

The program offers many opportunities to shadow medical professionals in different specialties and gain skills in all areas. 

“Some personal benefits include improving my professionalism skills and finding which career option suits me best before committing to a major in college,” Amna Delic (12) said. 

The typical day of these students differs greatly from an average high school student. They each spend two and a half hours in the hospital depending on whether they have the morning or afternoon shift. 

“We participate in independent work time, rotations around the hospital and peer discussions,” Norah Taranin (12) said.

As half their day consists of being in the hospital, some miss out on many school activities.

“I have the morning shift, so I don’t have an ANP class to get work done and ask teachers questions. I also tend to miss out on many fun school assemblies since it occurs in the mornings,” Jiya Patel (12) said.

Where some find inconveniences, others find an opportunity.

“CAPS allows more time to focus on homework and extracurriculars outside of school since I only have one class in school,” Delic said.

While their school day may be shortened, their hospital experience is worthwhile. The students get to observe procedures they never would have seen outside the program. 

“Watching the anesthesiologist get the patient sedated shortly before the surgeon cut the patient open was surreal. It’s definitely a memory I’ll forever remember,” Pozegic said.

These opportunities are given to students who demonstrate skills that will allow them to thrive in a professional setting.

“It is advantageous to be extroverted and outgoing to make a good impression on medical professionals. It allows for more opportunities, but that can’t be done just by being quiet,” Taranin said.

With the competitive edge of admission, many CAPS students feel a spot on the program can be viewed highly on college applications.

“I recommend anyone who wants to solidify their medical career path to take the St. Louis CAPS medical strand,” Patel said. “Being a part of this program will set you apart from other individuals during the college admissions process.”