Academy of Health Professions

  • Apply to participate in the Medical Science Program and become a Certified Nursing Assistant


Medical Science

The Medical Science program provides students with certified health care skills that enable them to train and work along with health care professionals in various settings.

Instruction focuses on anatomy, physiology, related-disease conditions, medical terminology, patient care skills, and current health care issues. Other areas of emphasis include body mechanics, vital signs, principals of infection control, and care of the hospitalized patient.

The Medical Science pathway prepares students for a career as a certified nursing assistant, doctor, nurse, therapist and a variety of other health care related careers. The pathway consists of four courses, including two courses that provide students with foundational skills in health care (Foundations of Medicine and Health Sciences and Structures and Function of the Human Body), followed by Medical Science with Clinical Applications and a Medical Internship.

  • Foundations of Medicine and Health Sciences [Course Number 4044/4045]

    This first course in the series is designed to provide students with an overview of the therapeutic, diagnostic, environmental and information systems of the health care industry. Students will begin to prepare for a medical or health science career by developing a broad understanding of the cluster and pathways in the Health and Bioscience cluster. Students will learn about ethical and legal responsibilities, as well as the history and economics of healthcare. As students learn to use medical terminology within a variety of medical and health care environments, they will begin to develop the academic and technical skills necessary to function as a health professional. (Grade 9 or 10)

    Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra 1 with a minimum grade of C
    Required Co-requisite: Honors Biology or Honors Physics

  • Structures and Function of the Human Body [Course Number 4042/4043]

    This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the structure and function of the human body, including cellular biology and histology. Systematic study involves homeostatic mechanisms of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, nervous, urinary, endocrine, lymphatic, and immune systems. Students will investigate the body’s responses to the external environment, maintenance of homeostasis, electrical interactions, transport systems, and energy processes. Students will conduct laboratory investigations and fieldwork, use scientific methods during investigations to solve problems and make informed decisions. Students will learn the medical terminology related to body systems. Students should be co-enrolled in the appropriate math and science courses. (Grade 10 or 11)

    Prerequisite: Completion of Foundations of Medicine and Health Science
    Required Co-requisite: Algebra 2 or a higher level math course, and Biology if not previously completed

  • Medical Science with Clinical Applications [Course Number 3889/3890]

    This double period course engages students in the study of disease, disease processes, and patient care. It prepares students to approach complex patient issues systematically. Students will use their knowledge of anatomy and physiology and client care concept mapping to examine the impact of disease on body systems and overall homeostasis. Key concepts embedded in the curriculum include modalities to conduct in-depth case analysis, pathophysiological changes, associated signs and symptoms, and relevant treatment and care. In addition, students will apply their knowledge and skills in a healthcare facility and will have the opportunity to earn basic life support and nursing assistant certifications. (Grade 11 or 12)

    Prerequisite: Biology A&B with a minimum grade of B, Foundations of Medicine and Health Science, Structures and Function of the Human Body
    Required Co-requisite: Chemistry A and Medical Terminology

    Please Note: Space in this class is very limited. Students will be screened for both grades and attendance. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required for consideration. To apply to this program student must complete the county-wide medical science application form available on the MCPS and Paint Branch websites. Age requirement: Students must reach the age of 16 by the first day of the spring semester.

  • Medical Science A (Medical Terminology) [Course Number 5418]

    Students enrolled in Medical Science with Clinical Applications [Course Number 3889] will be co-enrolled in Medical Science A, also known as Montgomery College AHT 125 Medical Terminology.

    This is a rigorous one semester college level course. Upon completion of this course with a 78% or above the student should take the Montgomery College challenge exam. Two college credits will be awarded for passing the exam. Students will learn to use medical terminology with an emphasis on building the vocabulary required of the beginning medical professional.

    Prerequisite: Biology A&B with a minimum grade of B and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (Grade level 11 or 12)

  • Medical Science Internship [Course Number 5415]

    With permission of the Medical Science Teacher, students who have successfully completed Medical Science with Clinical Applications and have earned Maryland State Certification as a Nursing Assistant in 11th grade may receive an internship in the 12th grade for two periods under the supervision of the Medical Science teacher. These internships are specifically related to a chosen medical profession. (Grade 12)

Medical Science with Clinical Applications

The Medical Science with Clinical Applications program is a full-year career pathway program that enables students to explore careers in the health care industry and to gain skills related to patient care practiced in hospitals and long-term care facilities. Students receive Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training and may qualify for certification as a Certifies Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Exploring the Field

Holy Cross Hospital

During the second semester, qualified students will go to Holy Cross Hospital four mornings a week to practice the skills they’ve learned and to earn the clinical hours necessary to test for certification as a Nursing Assistant in the State of Maryland. During that time, they work a minimum of 40 hours with a variety of patients on Medical, Surgical, Oncology and Hospice Wards.

Having performed patient care has become an important component in applications to higher medical fields and the students have a distinct advantage over applicants who have no experience.

Each year, different departments at Holy Cross Hospital invite students to come and shadow personnel in their department. The departments vary according to schedules, but in 2017 the students have the opportunity to observe in Physical Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Ambulatory Surgical Department, High Risk Perinatal Unit, Mother- Baby Unit, Respiratory Care, Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Laboratory, Clinical Informatics, Pharmacy, Safety, and Infection Control. Having access to so many different careers is a wonderful way to experience the wide array of professions in the medical field and have the opportunity to interview people who work there.

Open-Heart Surgery Observation

In December, students visited the INOVA Hospital in Fairfax Virginia where students viewed an open heart surgery.

The annual trip to the Inova hospital down in Fairfax County Virginia was a very phenomenal experience for medical science students. Arriving there, we were welcomed very warmly by the staff we saw and the Registered Nurse (RN) gave us a friendly tour around the cardiac unit. We gathered around the break room where everyone was given a brief summary of what were about to see. Some students saw a quadruple bypass and some saw an aortic valve replacement. We watched from a dome above the surgical room and there were TV’s that gave a view as well. Having the opportunity to watch an open heart surgery in person was a remarkable and unique experience that a majority of high school students don’t get to see. At the end we left with extended knowledge and a very own feel for ourselves on what an actual surgical procedure is like. Getting to see what we learn in class applied to reality is one of the many things that exceptionally sets this course apart from the rest.
-Avril Okon

The trip to the hospital to watch the open heart surgery was an extravagant and remarkable experience which came with a lot of benefits. Just entering the building created a professional environment in which I was welcomed to. The instructors that worked there helped guide us through the surgery and what was going on step by step. Learning about the heart as a subject in class was nice but watching a surgical procedure live involving in-class subject matter had a big impact on me and my colleagues. It enlightened my colleagues and I with a whole set of knowledge and opened our eyes to a whole new perspective of the medical field. Even though my colleagues and I went to the surgery with knowledge we left there not only with a more enhanced knowledge, we left there as better students who have a glimpse of the world of medicine.