MASON — School has only been in session for a little over two months in Mason County, but for high school seniors the barrage of college visits, entrance exams, applications and scholarship opportunities have already begun.
To assist these seniors, as well as underclassmen, Wahama High School held its first on-site career event recently.
According to Teresa Murphy, school counselor, the career exploration dealt exclusively with medical careers.
“In talking with the kids, I found there was a lot of interest in the occupations in the medical field,” she said. “A lot of them, however, only think of two professions when considering medical – doctor and nurse. We wanted to show them there were many more.”
Assistant Principal Melissa VanMeter said after the idea of the career fair was formed she, along with school employee Jill Harris, went to Pleasant Valley Hospital for help. There they met with Connie Davis, senior director of ancillary services, and Tracy Call, director of marketing.
“Pleasant Valley Hospital exceeded our expectations,” VanMeter said. “After our meeting, it came together in less than a month. They sent 19 people.”
Among the careers represented were physician assistant, dentist, pharmacist and pharmacy technician, physical and occupational therapy assistant, nursing, certified nursing assistant, speech and respiratory therapist, radiology, emergency medical technician, and others.
“Not only were the medical fields represented, but other careers such as marketing and hospital management that aren’t necessarily medical, but are an integral part of a hospital functioning,” Murphy said. “Some of the newer careers were also represented, like medical coding.”
Students in grades 10 through 12 were given the opportunity to sign up for the event, with over 120 choosing to attend.
“The kids had a great time and the feedback was good,” the counselor continued. “As a result, we have set up job shadowing for several of our students at Pleasant Valley Hospital.”
Another career day is in the works at the school and will focus on jobs available with two-year associate degrees or certification training.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.