Barrington High School dedicates lab for nursing program

Now students at Barrington High won't have to go to Harper for class

  • Kelly Allen, left, an instructor and practicing nurse, watches as seniors Angelica Elizarraraz, center, and Citlalli Salazar practice with a walker Thursday during the opening of the health sciences laboratory at Barrington High School.

      Kelly Allen, left, an instructor and practicing nurse, watches as seniors Angelica Elizarraraz, center, and Citlalli Salazar practice with a walker Thursday during the opening of the health sciences laboratory at Barrington High School. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Hilary Perez, left and Jocelyn Sanchez, both seniors, work at bed making Thursday at the new health sciences laboratory at Barrington High School.

      Hilary Perez, left and Jocelyn Sanchez, both seniors, work at bed making Thursday at the new health sciences laboratory at Barrington High School. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Seniors Carlos Hernandez and Star Udeogu work at helping a "patient" Thursday as the health sciences laboratory at Barrington High School was unveiled. Students can get a head start on learning basic nursing skills.

      Seniors Carlos Hernandez and Star Udeogu work at helping a "patient" Thursday as the health sciences laboratory at Barrington High School was unveiled. Students can get a head start on learning basic nursing skills. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/27/2018 9:28 PM

Students, supporters and alumni of Barrington High School gathered Thursday evening for the dedication of a new health sciences lab intended to eliminate daily commutes to Harper College in Palatine for students in the Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program.

Indeed, instructor and practicing nurse Kelly Allen marveled that the technology and simulated hospital suite in the lab exceeded even those she'd used at Harper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We have in this facility everything we had at Harper and more!" she said.

Senior Angelica Elizarraraz said the lab made easier her involvement in this more rigorous class than the introduction to health care she took last year, which also then involved a trip to Harper each afternoon.

Elizarraraz's career goal is to be a nurse practitioner, an advanced position second to a doctor. But unlike many of her future college classmates who will be starting that journey from scratch in a year, Elizarraraz will be a certified nursing assistant upon her graduation from Barrington High School.

Though the task is hard -- and the opportunity relatively new for high school students -- Elizarraraz said she enjoys it and is even more certain of her career goals as a result.

"I like to challenge myself, and even if I think I may not be ready for something I like to take a stab at it because I feel I can do it," she said.

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Allen said she sees that attitude in all her students who've committed to the class.

"They're so excited about it," she said. "It gives them a leg up on the profession."

Barrington High School Principal Steve McWiliams said the lab was created from a former computer lab that's no longer necessary now that all students have their own computers.

Financial support came from a variety of sources and grants, including the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation.

Alumni in the health care field also provided support, with several back in town for homecoming speaking on a panel after the dedication.

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