Nearly 800 High School Students Attend Mercy’s Health Careers Exploration Day

November 6, 2014




ST. LOUIS – Saving babies, stitching up after surgery, and inserting a chemotherapy PICC line are just a few examples of the hands-on opportunities nearly 800 area high school students had a chance to experience at Mercy Hospital St. Louis’ Health Careers Exploration Day.

With more than 30 departments and nearly 200 co-workers, students asked questions about educational paths, career opportunities and anything else to help broaden their view of health care careers.

Webster Groves High School senior Madison Massarello is interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, and while she had some areas of interest coming in, she said the experience really opened her eyes to what’s possible.

“This has been super beneficial to someone going to the medical field,” Massarello said. “I didn’t know some of this stuff existed.”

Roosevelt High School senior Ebony Moore isn’t set on her career path but has interest in pharmacy, construction and physical therapy. She said it helps to visualize what the jobs are. “The names of jobs aren’t that interesting, but showing hands-on demonstrations is really helpful.”

It’s not only the students enjoying the day, but the school staff loves it for what it provides to students. Kim Litzou, supervisor for Rockwood’s Partners in Education program, said the program helps broaden horizons while narrowing focus for students.

Students get hands-on experience in a one-stop-shop setting. 

“The experience created here can be life changing, life defining,” Litzou said. “We’ve had students change their career path because of what Mercy provides here.”

Litzou said Rockwood Partners in Education places 600 students in career shadow programs, 30 percent of those in the health care field. She added, “Kids wouldn’t get this type of experience in a shadow program because of the variety and the hands-on experience made available all in one day.”

Lindsay Ahrens, Mercy recruiter and coordinator of the Health Careers Exploration Day, is happy to hear the day is worthwhile for students. “We really wanted to create an atmosphere where students can ask questions, learn and get hands-on experience without feeling intimidated. In addition, it helps students understand the variety of opportunities in health care beyond doctors and nurses.”

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