After last year’s successful pilot with nine students, 21 juniors and seniors representing all three Westerville high schools participated in the 2018-2019 Health Career Exploration Experience (HCEE). Pupils shadowed professionals for 16 weeks at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital. They visited 13 departments, including the Cardio Lab, Cath Lab, CT/MRI, Nuclear Medicine, OB Clinic, Women’s Health, and X-ray, as well as Labor and Delivery, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Mother/Infant, Sterile Processing, Radiation Oncology and Rehab, which were new rotations this year. “This experience was incredibly unique and I have never done anything like it,” remarked one Westerville Central senior. “I did not know what to expect going in, but it was fantastic.”
The program also expanded this year to include Nationwide Children’s Hospital Close to Home in Westerville, where HCEE students worked alongside professionals in Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy, Radiology, Speech, Sports Physical Therapy, and the medical laboratory. A junior from Westerville North noted how “the health care professionals I interacted with at this rotation site were the most informative and very willing to share their knowledge with me.”
At both facilities, HCEE students spent two hours a week in each department and observed procedures; talked with doctors, nurses and technicians; and learned about the various paths professionals took to get to where they are today. They also had the opportunity to visit more unfamiliar areas in the hospital, including Sterile Processing and Nuclear Medicine, said to be a highlight. Experiencing a variety of departments provided an opportunity to explore, in greater depth, different career options within healthcare. “I believe, for me, the most surprising part of this experience was realizing how many different ways you can go with medicine,” shared one student.
The Health Career Exploration Experience concluded on April 4 with an afternoon of reflection, hosted by Unhee Kim, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mount Carmel St. Ann’s, and Chris Rutter, Chief Human Resources Officer. A panel of students shared their most memorable experiences and talked about what they found most surprising. Some credited the Health Career Exploration Experience with significantly influencing their future career plans. They concluded that because of this opportunity, they are looking at a much more defined range of career possibilities now, as opposed to the broader prospect of “medical” or “heath care” jobs.
Learn more about Westerville’s Career Pathways program by visiting http://www.westerville.k12.oh.us/administration/74.