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The healthcare career field is vast with many opportunities, from dentistry and surgery to chiropractic work and physical therapy. More than 80 high school students from Owatonna, Medford and Blooming Prairie got to experience hands-on activities and seminars throughout the healthcare industry Wednesday for the Made in Owatonna day at Riverland Community College.

Brian Coleman, career navigator for the Owatonna Public Schools Career Pathways program, said they were hoping to have at least 60 students present for the event, and was elated to see many more than their initial goal attended. Coleman went on to say a major goal for these activities for the students is to open their minds and see the behind-the-scenes areas of hospitals and clinics and other sectors of the healthcare field that many people aren’t aware of.

Several rooms were set up throughout the Riverland campus to give students a unique healthcare profession experience. The students divided themselves up in six groups and spent about 15 minutes at each station for labs, panel discussions with professionals and demonstrations.Students were able to learn about the different blood types, the process and science behind “typing” a person and the importance of knowing the correct blood type in a medical situation.

As luck would have it, the students were able to witness the EMT’s take a call, flipping on the lights and sirens, and racing off down the street to respond to the emergency. They also learned how to take vital signs and the process of leading a person into an ambulance unit, as well as how paramedics respond in various emergency situations.

 

Mannequins were present in one room with examples of Shaken Baby Syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and an obstetric and geriatric simulation and experience. Students were also able to test their skills in a laparoscopic surgery simulation by using the tools to pick puff balls out of a box Several nurses, practitioners, radiology technicians and operations managers were present in the “Mayo Room,’’ where kids were able to speak with the Mayo Clinic staff virtually to ask questions about various jobs and responsibilities in each respective staff person’s field.

 

Mary Worke, school counselor and health instructor at Blooming Prairie Public Schools, said the entire program ran very smoothly and the rotation of all the students between the different stations was great. She spoke about how great it was for the students to get out, take field trips and get hands-on experience with various sectors of the medical field, especially after not having many of those experiences the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“The sessions were short enough to keep your attention, but still packed with good information,” Worke said. “We learned about medical careers that could take 10 months to 10 years in college depending on the student’s interest.”

 

Mary Worke, school counselor and health instructor at Blooming Prairie Public Schools, said the entire program ran very smoothly and the rotation of all the students between the different stations was great. She spoke about how great it was for the students to get out, take field trips and get hands-on experience with various sectors of the medical field, especially after not having many of those experiences the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“The sessions were short enough to keep your attention, but still packed with good information,” Worke said. “We learned about medical careers that could take 10 months to 10 years in college depending on the student’s interest.”

 

“I think I learned just as much, if not more, than the kids did,” Coleman laughed.

The goal of the program is to be innovative and allow students to prepare for their future through Minnesota career clusters while making their career plans post-graduation a reality. The “Compass Team” assists in directing the students on their journey to explore potential career opportunities and emphasize their individuality.

Made in Owatonna Day is a SteeleCoWorks program, sponsored by the Bosch Community Fund. It is a partnership with the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, the United Way of Steele County, Owatonna Public Schools and Junior Achievement.

SOURCE: Emily Kahnke, southernminn.com

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