MEDINA — The future of medicine came to the Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital on Tuesday and it was not a fancy new piece of equipment or groundbreaking procedure that took center stage.
About 50 Medina County high school students descended upon the medical facility for the second annual Healthcare Possibilities Day.
Hosted by Leadership Medina County, the Medina County Health Department and Medina Hospital, the goal of the program is to present students interested in pursuing a health care career with a variety of career options.
“We have human resources, volunteers, nurses, doctors, cardiac, neurology,” Carrie Park, director of Junior Leadership Medina County said. “We have just about every field represented, so the kids will come in and get an introduction.”
Students assembled in one of the hospital’s conference rooms for an introduction and welcome from Medina Hospital Foundation Executive Director Randy Fuerst.
Fuerst said in addition to individuals who work directly with patients, there are also several jobs at the hospital that are outside the wheelhouse of medical care.
“I don’t do that,” he said. “There are a lot of folks who work here who don’t do that.”
After introductions, students broke into five individual groups to hear from the different hospital employees about their jobs.
Fuerst told students not to hold back with their questions.
“There are no bad questions, there are dumb ones,” he said. “The ones you don’t ask are the dumb ones. Ask them how much they get paid or what their pay range is. Where did you go to school? Where is the best place to go to school?”
Justin Hoffman, supervisor for respiratory therapy, cardiology and neurology, was on hand to give students a glimpse into his job at the hospital.
Hoffman said while he knew the career path he wanted to take in high school, not every student is aware of the array of options available to them in the medical field.
“I knew what I was going into,” he said.
“I had asthma as a child so I knew respiratory was going to be my path.”
Hoffman said he believes some high school students with an interest in pursing a medical career automatically think nursing, and then realize down the road it is not the career for them.
“…They don’t understand that there are all these other departments within the hospital that do procedures and patient testing,” he said.
Highland sophomore Collin Kalina said he decided to attend the event because he is considering a career in the medical field.
“(I’m) looking to see if this can expand on my knowledge of the careers and jobs that I would be interested in doing,” Kalina said.
Kalina said he is looking into a career in physical therapy.
Park said she contacted officials at each school district in Medina County to ensure that all students interested in attending the event had an opportunity.
According to information provided by Park, the majority of students in attendance, |30.2 percent, were from Highland High School, 22 percent were from Buckeye High School and 17 percent from Medina High School.
Students from Brunswick, Cloverleaf, Wadsworth and Medina Career Center were also in attendance.
Of those students, 47.2 percent were juniors, 34 percent sophomores and 9.4 percent represented both freshman and sophomores in attendance.