STUDENT Spotlight
Makayla Miller, Allied Health Program graduate

Student Spotlight is a regularly-updated feature that highlights Baltimore County Public Schools students involved in a wide range of activities and programs. In this Student Spotlight, Makayla Miller, a graduate of Eastern Technical High School, discusses her involvement in the Allied Health Program. (To see more student spotlights,(To see more student spotlights, click here.)

Student Spotlight
Makayla Miller, Allied Health Program graduate

What is the Allied Health Program?
The Allied Health Program is a program where students who are interested in health care get an overview of health education, including in-depth studies of the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and medical terminology. We are taught certain clinical skills, such as note-taking, proper documentation, vital signs, and bandaging injuries. In addition to the study of health care, the Allied Health students are required to take Latin I and Latin II and III freshman and sophomore years to better interpret the medical terminology.

When did you join the program?
I joined the Allied Health program in 2010 at the beginning of my freshman year of high school.

How did you become part of the program?
Once I decided I wanted to be a part of the Allied Health program at Eastern Tech., I had to go through the admission process. The process included sending in my grades and attendance record from middle school, and the completion of a test. The test included English and math-based questions. In order to become a candidate for the program, a score of 80% had to be met or succeeded.

What did you learn through the program?
Through this challenging program, I learned many valuable life skills, such as time management, prioritizing, and communication, as well as how to save a life. In our junior year, we learned CPR and Basic First Aid, both of which were huge requirements for the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)/Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA) and Nurse Support Technician (NST) programs as well as for working at the hospital as a multifunctional technician.

Through what process did you earn your CNA, GNA, and NST certifications from CCBC?
Senior year opened up a lot of opportunities from our Allied Health Program that were all so great, making it a tough decision. I had the options of going for a full day of school, where, at the end of the day, I would take a pharmaceutical technology class; attending school for half of a day, then taking prerequisite classes at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC); or attending a half day of school, then participating in the CNA, GNA, and NST programs. I choose the programs at CCBC due to my interest in nursing. I used this opportunity as a way of getting experience and a closer look into the nursing field. Through these programs, I was able to confirm my career choice of becoming a nurse and what kind of facility, such as a nursing home or a hospital, I would like to work in. After completing our classes, clinicals were the last step. I completed the clinicals after CNA/GNA at Stella Maris Nursing Home and the clinicals after NST at Sinai Hospital.

What was the most challenging part of studying nursing?
Studying nursing can be a challenge. There is a ton of information one needs to acquire. I decided to play soccer for my college and, knowing how much work will be on my plate while studying nursing, I will be extremely busy. It’s hard to make time for friends and family, but it is possible with good time management. Critical thinking also is an important skill to have in order to take what you learn and apply it to real life situations in your career.  In the field, you will come across things most people will not see in their lives. It takes such a strong and special kind of person to be in this field.

What was the most rewarding part of studying nursing?
The most rewarding part about studying nursing is the indescribable feeling of being such a crucial part in others’ lives, especially when they come to you in the most vulnerable states of their lives, seeking your help. I’ve always had the desire to help others and make a difference. You’ll come across patients who are not always the nicest, but there are underlying causes that cause them to be that way. That is why it is important to get to know your patients, and to let them know you care, and you’ll see a whole other side of them. They will express their appreciation for you that gives you a great feeling, reminding you why you do what you do. I have found this out by working at Good Samaritan Hospital now. This job works perfectly with my school schedule and it allows for self-scheduling.

How have the Allied Health Program and BCPS prepared you to be college- and career-ready?
Being a part of the Allied Health program was one of the best choices I have made. BCPS has done a great job of helping to create such programs. Through this program, I had the privilege to have three extraordinarily dedicated, supporting, and genuinely caring teachers, Ms. Amy Magladry, Mr. Ty Whittaker, and Mr. Patrick McConnell. They always work hard and go above and beyond to provide the best education, strategies, and resources to their students in order for them to succeed. My senior year consisted of high school classes from 7:40 a.m. to 11 a.m.; CCBC programs from 1 to 3 p.m. or, sometimes, 4:15 p.m.; and then working at a gym from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. It was a large workload, but the time management skills that the teachers taught us made it all possible, and their outstanding personalities made them easily approachable, allowing relationships to be built. Though we have graduated, they still continue to show their support and check in on how we are doing in the start of our nursing careers. I cannot thank each one of them enough for their tremendous positive impact they have had on my life, preparing me so well for college and my career. They worked extremely hard to get a pipeline partnership with Good Samaritan Hospital for years, and I am very grateful to be a part of launching this new opportunity.

What are your hopes for the rest of this summer?
During the last four weeks of summer, I hope to acquire as much knowledge and as many skills as possible at the hospital. I want to grow in my career to serve the community as best as I can and touch as many lives as possible.

What are your plans for next school year?
Next school year, I will attend CCBC and begin the “A to B” track. I will complete my prerequisite classes the first two years for my registered nurse certification, then during the last two years, I will be enrolled in CCBC and Towson University to complete my Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. I have recently considered going on to become a physician’s assistant but I will decide whether to cross that path when I get there.


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