March 24, 2011
By Donna Peck
High school students with an interest in pursuing a health care career visited the University of Kansas Medical Center this week as part of Health Care Career Information Day. For the first time, the School of Nursing and the School of Allied Health joined with the School of Medicine in sponsoring the program.
The event drew 75 students and teachers from five area high schools. The students visited the clinical learning skills lab at the School of Nursing; attended sessions on allied health professions such as health information management and physical therapy; and toured the dry anatomy lab to learn how disease affects human organs. They also heard from current medical, nursing and allied health students on the rewards and challenges of choosing a health care-related education.
Kaylee Clark, a senior at Shawnee Mission West High School, said she learned that there are many more opportunities in health care than she realized. "I'm very interested in becoming a nurse, but I didn't know until today how many different careers are available in nursing," Clark said. "I've always wondered if there was a way to combine my interests in both nursing and sports medicine, and now I know that is possible."
Sandra McCurdy, the associate dean of admissions for the School of Medicine, said the program is valuable to both the students who attend and to KU Medical Center. "Our country and state are experiencing critical shortages in most health care professions," McCurdy said. "Because it is one of our primary missions to educate the future health care work force in Kansas, we do everything we can to encourage young people who have an interest in our field."
KU Medical Center plans to sponsor Health Care Career Information Day twice each year.