February 9, 2010

High school students explore health careers at Mercy

February 9, 2010 The Edmond Sun

OKLAHOMA CITY — Deer Creek High School students were among more than 700 high schoolers who explored health care careers Friday at Mercy Health Center. The Mercy Health Career Exploration Day, now in its eighth year, gives area students a chance to learn about a wide variety of job opportunities.

“Students often think a career in health care is limited to being a doctor or a nurse, but there are so many opportunities in health care today,” said Kerri Beasley, R.N., Mercy recruitment coordinator. “This event isn’t a lecture or some boring intro into health care; this is an exciting, hands-on experience for students to see what they would get to do. We don’t just tell them about it, they get to see it up close.”

Students couldn’t agree more.

“We had the opportunity to feel a pig’s lung, practice giving a shot and even take part in a mock Code Blue,” said Mustang’s Caitlin Prinzo, a senior this year at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School who attended last year’s career day. “It was a real eye-opener to learn all the things you can do.”

Whether it’s actual hands-on experience or getting a chance to talk to real-life health care professionals, Mercy’s career day provides students with lots of information.

Studies have shown that the level of health care awareness among youth today is low. In order to educate students, Mercy  extended invitations to local high schools. Participating high schools and groups include: Deer Creek, Bishop McGuinness, Canadian Valley Technology Center, Chandler, Chisholm Trail Technology Center, Crescent, Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center, El Reno, Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Mount Saint Mary, Northeast Academy for Health Sciences and Engineering, Putnam City, Putnam City North and Yukon.

Students not only received lots of information but also spoke one-on-one with a radiology tech, pharmacist, nurse, respiratory therapist, nutritionist, lab technician and many more professionals. Students will be able to view actual radiology and hospital equipment, educational videos and organ models and have the opportunity to win various door prizes.  

“We want students to learn they have lots of choices,” said Bill Peterson, director of Mercy’s human resources. “Every year many students find the experience invaluable because they are able to see firsthand how numerous the opportunities are in health care. The possibilities really are endless.”

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