2023 Pickaway County Health Science Careers Camp
Meghan Thoreau, OSU Extension Educator
This June interested Pickaway County high school students attended a two-day summer camp that explored career options in health science. This opportunity was sponsored by Pickaway WORKS in partnership with OSU Extension, Pickaway County, and Ohio Health Berger. Student participants met and shadowed multiple healthcare professionals and learned first-hand about the in-demand careers in this growing sector. Two healthcare certifications, STOP the Bleed and American Red Cross CPR, were available for students to obtain, as well as, were fast-tracked towards 16+ healthcare internship opportunities and college tuition benefit programs available after high school graduation.
More specifically, the program included a healthcare experts/leaders panel discussion that exposed students to four different professional career pathways. The discussion focused on career decisions that led the professions to where they are today. Several emphasized how taking an entry-level position at a hospital allowed them to better understand hospital systems and built stronger career connections. The discussion also stressed the importance of maintaining professional networks that can accelerate careers. Each speaker explained their personal story, work experiences, education, and skills they leveraged to solidify their careers in healthcare.
Students were able to take a hospital tour, engaged in critical role career discovery stations, and go on three job shadow experiences, that allowed students to have in-depth one-on-one discussions with select professionals. The program also focused on career and college pathway discussions, education options, and OhioHealth’s tuition benefit program. Several colleges and credentialing programs set up stations where students engaged and gathered educational and training information and become better informed about their educational decisions towards a career in health science.
Each student also took the CliftonStrengths Survey by Gallup. The results helped students identify their natural strengths to maximize their potential. Self-reflection opportunities, like this, are critical in life and included in the program to help the students grow confident in who they are and how they can contribute to the world and their workplace most effectively.