Ardmore-Area Highschoolers Get Hands-On Health Care Career Experience

May 29, 2012

High school students experienced hands-on health care, like giving injections

ARDMORE, Okla. – Nearly 200 high school students gathered at Mercy Memorial Heath Center recently to explore health care careers. The recently established annual High School Career Fair gave area students a one-stop-shop opportunity to learn about a variety of jobs in health care.

“Students tend to think a career in health care means becoming a doctor or a nurse. We want to show them there are so many other opportunities in health care,” said Tess Parker, Mercy recruiting coordinator.

Throughout the day-long event, Mercy staged “mock codes.” During these 15-minute drill demonstrations, health care professionals rush to the aid of a manikin to perform the same life-saving techniques that they would perform in a real event. Students have the opportunity to participate in these drills, giving them insight to the fast paced environment of emergency health care.

In addition to the mock codes, students were able to talk one-on-one with a radiology tech, nurse, respiratory therapist, lab technician and many other professionals. Students viewed a mock colonoscopy with a high-definition scope and demonstrations of hospital equipment.  They watched educational videos and were provided hands-on activities with models. These activities provided experiences that are much more meaningful than a slideshow. 

Participating high schools and groups included: Dickson, Lone Grove, Madill, Plainview and the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center.

“We wanted students to be aware of all their choices in health care,” said Melinda Sharum, Mercy director of human resources. “The students find the experience invaluable because they can see firsthand the numerous opportunities in health care.”

Information on Mercy careers is available at


Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,600 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

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