Local

Harvard School District 50 students explore medical careers

Harvard Junior High School students donned their winter coats Wednesday and took a walking field trip to Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center. Theresa Hollinger, director of nursing and patient care services, and nursing supervisor Tracy Perkins led students through an interactive tour of the hospital.

The field trip included a backstage look at Mercyhealth’s emergency, inpatient, laboratory, radiology, surgical ​and occupational and physical therapy departments.​ Students learned about the extensive careers available in medicine, and staff members explained the educational requirements for each position.

“Being on-site is different from a career fair,” Perkins said. “It gives students a glimpse of daily life in a working hospital.”

As they explored the departments, students tested medical equipment, handled instruments and discussed how medicine related to their science classrooms.

Eighth-grader MaKayla Davis said the surgery simulation was her favorite part of the tour.

At the end of the tour, a panel of Mercyhealth staff hosted a candid conversation about the salary that students could expect to earn from a medical career. Hollinger stressed the importance of staying in school.

“Even if you don’t know what you want to do, completing core classes will help you, no matter what you pursue,” Hollinger said.

Maura Bridges, District 50’s director of college and career readiness, added, “Exposure to the many options available in health care helps students see opportunities for their future. We are so grateful for this partnership.”

Harvard High School students will visit Mercyhealth in January.

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