LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Every Lakewood Ranch High School student in a junior English class is required to do a career shadowing project.
Career shadowing is an opportunity to spend time with a professional at work to explore the different types of careers.
LRHS students career shadow at many different companies, some as small as family owned businesses and some as big as major franchises.
LRHS junior Caitlin Currey got the opportunity of a lifetime when she career shadowed a plastic surgeon at Florida Coastal Plastic Surgery. Currey shadowed Dr. Robin Hamlin in February.
Currey did more than the average student while career shadowing. She observed Hamlin and helped interact with patients.
She also got Hamlin tools she needed, and was allowed to set up a laser used to prevent blood clots.
Currey said: "Before I shadowed Dr. Hamlin I was most interested in dermatology and anesthesiology, but after seeing what happens in a plastic surgery office I now know that I want to have that profession when I'm older."
Several patients came into Hamlin's office, and Currey observed them all.
She saw a patient have her stitch
es removed from a recent facelift and watched a patient with silicone breast implants switched by physicians to saline implants.
"It was really cool to see the way everything happened, and how you could see the different types of tissue," she said.
Currey said she finds plastic surgery so interesting because of all the patient reactions. In interactions with the patients she helped explain what procedures were being done and what materials were being used.
"Being able to see the smiling faces of the patients after they've had their procedures done is something that means a lot to me. Children with cleft lips, or people with body deformities live most of their lives with insecurities, and being able to fix that would be amazing."