When students pierce the skin of their parents and teachers, it is usually frowned upon. But last week, students at Mountain View High School did just that.

In honor of National Heart Month, for the fifth year in a row, the students in the advanced medical laboratory applications class gave free cholesterol readings.

Throughout the day, parents, friends, teachers and faculty made their way to the classroom where students clad in lab coats and latex gloves pricked their finger, took a small blood sample and gave the person their lipid profile.

The screenings provided people with the opportunity to learn about high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, along with cholesterol and triglycerides.

The screening was lead by Rosemarie Prater, who is the Medical Laboratory Assisting teacher at Mountain View. Along with helping the general public stay informed about their heart and health, she believes the real-world experience is one of the best things students can have.

“It is difficult to get high school students in one of the hospitals or the real labs because they are busy places and they are crowed,” Prater said. “I have brought, basically, the experience to the high school for them.”

In doing so, the students’ confidence goes up and can take that mind set and experience to the work place in the medical field.

For one Mountain View junior, Jacob Harshbarger, he plans to become a phlebotomist once he graduates from high school to help him through college. He really was looking forward to last week’s lipid screening to get some experience. 

“I have been looking forward to this day for the past couple of months,” Harshbarger said. “I saw this as a fantastic way to help out, get these people some help and some free care.”

In the weeks leading up to the screening, students in the class would routinely prick each other’s fingers and test the blood in preparation for general public coming through.

“We did the actually pricking, we put it into the readers,” Harshbarger said last Friday. “We did everything that we are doing to the outer community today.”

The students were well prepared for the 50 parents, teachers and members of the community to have their blood screened.

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