Health and Medical Sciences - CTE

Health and Medical Sciences prepare students for careers in disciplines related to medicine and other health occupations programs through therapeutic, diagnostic, rehabilitative, managerial and supportive services.

Medical Systems Administration is offered in the Business and Information Technology Department and is for students with a high interest in medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, and the coding and billing requirements found in the business department of any medical office or facility.

The Nurse Aide program at the Dowell J. Howard Center allows students to become certified Nurse Aides and move directly into the workforce or continue their education into a related area of medical interest.

Because of the projected need for all careers related to health care both locally and nationally, our own Valley Health Systems partnered with surrounding valley school divisions to implement the Introduction to Health and Medical Sciences course. This course is designed for the student considering a career pathway in a Health and Medical Science field. The Introduction to Health and Medical Sciences course is available for students in grades 10-12 but is recommended for 10th graders so that students have time to take one of the follow-up courses. 

The Nurse Aide Work-based Learning course is available for students who have successfully completed the Nurse Aide sequence and passed the Nurse Aide exam. This course requires completing a minimum of 396 hours of satisfactory on-the-job instruction. Students must be registered for six classes and work in an approved health and medical sciences position for the seventh credit. Applications may be obtained from a nursing instructor.  

Additional work-based learning experiences are available as a part of Career and Technical Education courses through an application process. Juniors and seniors who are currently enrolled in CTE courses who have completed a coherent sequence of CTE courses are eligible. The application process includes student narrative and teacher recommendation. Students participating in the work-based learning experience are required to complete a reflective exercise.

The High School Industry Credentialing initiative encourages students to work toward a selected industry credential or state license while pursuing a high school diploma. The Virginia Department of Education evaluates on an on-going basis industry credentials against prescribed criteria for graduation requirements for the Standard Diploma (8VAC20-131-50.B) and student-selected verified credit (8VAC20-131-110.C). Credentialing exams are available to any student taking a Career and Technical Education course.

Introduction to Health and Medical Sciences

8302 (INT HLT MED)
1 Credit
Grades: 10–12

This course introduces the student to a variety of health care careers and develops basic skills required in all health and medical sciences. It is designed to help students understand the key elements of the U.S. health care system and to learn basic health care terminology, anatomy and physiology for each body system, pathologies, diagnostic and clinical procedures, therapeutic interventions, and the fundamentals of traumatic and medical emergency care. 

Nurse Aide Program at Dowell J. Howard

This one-year program which includes both Nurse Aide I and Nurse Aide II is certified by the Virginia Board of Nursing and is subject to specific state laws and regulations from this governing board. A mandatory parent and student meeting is required prior to official acceptance into the program to ensure full understanding of program expectations and regulations including clinical experience. Drug screening, criminal background check and lab fee are also required. Upon completion of the nurse aide program, the student is eligible to take the nurse aide certification exam that leads to employment as a certified nurse aide in hospitals and nursing homes.

Nurse Aide I

8360 (NRS AIDE I)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Recommended: Introduction to Health and Medical Sciences, Enrolled in or completed Biology II: Survey of Human Systems

This first course in the Nurse Aide Program is an occupational preparation course beginning at the 11th grade level, emphasizes the study of nursing occupations as related to the health care system. Students study normal growth and development, simple body structure and function, and medical terminology and are introduced to microbes and disease. They receive elementary skill training in patient-nurse aide relationships; taking and recording of vital signs; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and bathing, feeding, dressing, and transporting of patients in hospitals and nursing homes.

Nurse Aide II 

8362 (NRS AIDE II)
1 Credit
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: C or Better in Nurse Aide I


This second course in the Nurse Aide Program is an occupational preparation course, emphasizing advanced skill training in areas such as catheter care, range of motion, bowel and bladder training, care of the dying, selected procedures for maternal and infant care, and admission and discharge procedures. Students learn diseases and body systems as related to advanced clinical care of the acute medical-surgical patient, the chronically ill, and the elderly. Fifty clinical hours of on-the-job instruction in a licensed nursing home are required.

Nurse Aide Work-based Learning

8332 (NRS WBL CO)
2 Credits
Grade: 12
Prerequisites: Nurse Aide I and II; CNA Certification; 2.0 GPA, Instructor Recommendation
Recommended: Biology II: Survey of Human Systems

This is a work-based course that involves instruction at DJHC once a week during the afternoon block as well as continuous employment in a health care facility for 11–15 hours per week throughout the school year. Students must have a “B” average in Nurse Aide I and II, submit an application and three letters of recommendation to be accepted into this program. The DJHC nursing instructor coordinates student placement in a health care related job. In addition, students learn and practice workplace readiness skills. Drug screening and criminal background check and lab fee are required.

Emergency Medical Technician Academy

This one year program for seniors taught at Lord Fairfax Community College leads to the completion of the first semester of the first semester of the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Emergency Medical Services. Students will focus on all aspects of pre-hospital basic life support as defined by the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services curriculum for Emergency Medicine Technician. Students are also required to complete clinical/field hours. The program comprised of Emergency Medical Technican I and II prepares students for certification as a Virginia and/or National Registry EMT-Basic.

Competitive applications will be accepted in the school division office of Career and Technical Education. One student from each high school will be selected by committee to attend the academy based on their application. Students are to ride the Governor's school bus and return to their home high school each day. Drug screening and criminal background check are required.

Emergency Medical Technician I

8333 (EMT I)
5 Credits (After completion of both courses)
Grade: 12
Prerequisites: Introduction to Medical Sciences and Biology


The tasks for this first course represent the National Emergency Medical Services Educational Standards. Students explore and apply the fundamentals of emergency medical services, anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology while demonstrating skills in assessing and managing patient care, including assessing the scene and understanding shock, resuscitation, and trauma. Supervised field experience outside of school hours is required. Successful completion of this course and instructor endorsement qualifies students to enroll in EMT II to complete the program sequence. Successful completion of the second course in the sequence will earn the student CTE completer status. Successful completion of all course requirements and instructor endorsement may lead to eligibility to take the Virginia State Psychomotor Exam and the National Registry EMT cognitive exam.

NOTE: Students must be at least 16 years old prior to the first day of EMT instruction and meet all criteria. This course has specific state laws and regulations from a governing medical board or agency. Please contact the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education Services prior to implementing this course. All inquiries may be sent to cte@doe.virginia.gov

Emergency Medical Technician II

​8334 (EMT II)
5 Credits (After completion of both courses)
Grade: 12
Prerequisites: Introduction to Medical Sciences, Biology and EMT I

The tasks for this second course represent the National Emergency Medical Services Educational Standards. Students build on their knowledge and skills for providing basic life support by focusing on the areas of emergency medical services (EMS) operations, medical emergencies, and management of special patient populations. Supervised field experience outside of school hours is required. Successful completion of this second course in the sequence will earn the student CTE completer status. Successful completion of all course requirements and instructor endorsement may lead to eligibility to take the Virginia State Psychomotor Exam and the National Registry EMT cognitive exam. 

NOTE: Students must be at least 16 years old prior to the first day of EMT instruction and meet all criteria. This course has specific state laws and regulations from a governing medical board or agency.

Pharmacy Technician Program

The Pharmacy Technician program is a one-year program for seniors taught at Shenandoah University's Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy. Completion of the program, which includes Pharmacy Technician I and Pharmacy Technician II, allows students to sit for the national pharmacy technician exam approved by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. Competitive applications will be accepted in the school division office of Career and Technical Education. Students from each high school will be selected by committee to attend the academy based on their application. Transportation will be provided to Shenandoah University from each high school.

Pharmacy Technician I

​8305 (PHARM TECH I)
Credits: 1
Grade: 12
Prerequisites: Chemistry and Algebra II
Recommended Prerequisites: Introduction to Health and Medical Sciences and Honors Anatomy and Physiology



This is the first course in a certificate program designed to provide students with the basic skills and knowledge to begin work as a pharmacy technician. The completion of Pharmacy Technician I and Pharmacy Technician II will fulfill the requirements of the Board of Pharmacy and prepare students to take either the state examination or the national examination administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Trained, experienced pharmacy technicians who can demonstrate the right skills and knowledge should be able to pursue many exciting and respected career options or postsecondary study in the pharmacy field.

Pharmacy Technician II

​8306 (PHARM TECH II)
Credits: 1
Grade: 12
Prerequisite: Pharmacy Technician I


This is the second course in a certificate program designed to provide students with the basic skills and knowledge to begin work as a pharmacy technician. The completion of Pharmacy Technician I and Pharmacy Technician II will fulfill the requirements of the Board of Pharmacy and prepare students to take either the state examination or the national examination administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Trained, experienced pharmacy technicians who can demonstrate the right skills and knowledge should be able to pursue many exciting and respected career options or postsecondary study in the pharmacy field.