OKLAHOMA CITY – More than 600 high school students gathered at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City Friday, March 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to explore health care careers. The popular Career Exploration Day, now in its 11th year, gives area students a one-stop-shop opportunity to learn about a variety of jobs in health care.
“Students often think a career in health care means being a doctor or a nurse, but there are so many opportunities in health care today,” said Jill Wimmer, Mercy recruitment manager. “This event isn’t a lecture or some boring intro to health care; this is an exciting hands-on experience for students to see what they would get to do as a health care professional. We don’t just tell them about it, they get to see it up close, feel it and be a part of it.”
Throughout the day-long event, Mercy stages “mock codes.” During these 15-minute drill demonstrations, health care professionals rush to the aid of a dummy 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 can talk 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, so they come away with experiences a slideshow can’t provide.
“We had the opportunity to feel a pig’s lung, practice giving a shot and even take part in a mock Code Blue,” said Caitlin Prinzo, a student who previously attended career day. “It was a real eye-opener to learn all the things you can do.”
Participating high schools and groups include: Deer Creek, Francis Tuttle, John Marshall, Mount Saint Mary’s, Canadian Valley Technology Center, El Reno, Yukon, Putnam City North, Edmond Memorial and Boulevard Academy.
“We want students to learn they have lots of choices,” said Bill Peterson, Mercy vice president of human resources. “Every year students find the experience invaluable because they can see firsthand how numerous the opportunities are in health care. The possibilities really are endless.”
Information on Mercy careers is available at here.
Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 32 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,900 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.