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 700 area high school students had a chance to experience at Mercy Hospital St. Louis’ Health Careers Exploration Day.
With more than 25 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.
It’s not only the students enjoying the day, but the school staff loves it for what it provides to students. Kim Litzau, supervisor for Rockwood Partners in Education program, said the program helps broaden horizons while narrowing focus for students.
“The experience created here can be life changing, life defining,” Litzau said. “We’ve had students change their career path because of what Mercy provides here.”
Litzau said Rockwood-Parkway Partners in Education places hundreds of 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.”