by Eric Jensen
For Victoria College students in the Respiratory Care Program, education doesn’t stop when they leave the classroom.
Ten years ago, students were motivated to do more to help the community. It was then that the Student Cardiopulmonary Organization Practicing Excellence (SCOPE) was born. The student organization was initiated as a way for students to go beyond their academic and clinical work to provide community service.
“The students came to me and said, ‘We think we need to start a student organization.’” said Ceci Oldmixon, Clinical Coordinator for the Respiratory Care Program. “They also wanted to be recognized and have a format for some of the things they wanted to do.”
SCOPE members partner with groups on and off campus to provide community service opportunities. They visit elementary schools where they reach out to young students and teach them about smoke-free living and the effects of asthma.
The students conduct 30-minute educational, interactive programs and are responsible for contacting the schools and designing the program. They are assigned to a team and decide what will be taught, then do the research and gather information, Oldmixon said.
“We partner with any large community event in town such as Empty Bowls, Man-2-Man Family Expo, Bootfest, Keep Victoria Beautiful, beach cleanups, Habitat for Humanity, and other activities,” she said.
The student organization has performed “hundreds and hundreds of hours of community service and done amazing educational programs for our community,” Oldmixon said. “I think that’s really important to help the student understand that it’s more than just what they do at that bedside. It’s about that comprehensive care of that patient.”
All students in the Respiratory Care Program are required to join SCOPE.
SCOPE President Jim McCulloch said membership in the organization has helped him meet more people on campus and make connections and friends.
“These are people I probably wouldn’t have even seen just being inside this building and not venturing out,” McCulloch said. “There were people in the community at different events who I’ve reconnected with, or I’ve made connections with. It’s all about networking with people. I don’t think I would have had that opportunity if I wasn’t a part of SCOPE.”