CHERYL ERICKSON – The Corsair
Pensacola State College hosted the 14th annual Health Career Fair Friday, Nov. 5 at the Warrington Campus. In attendance were 600 high school students from Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton and Okaloosa counties as well as North and South Baldwin County, Ala.
The half day presentation was from 9:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. with lunch provided. The event, designed to gave high school students a first hand look at options they have available in health careers for the future also gave students hands-on experience by involving the students and getting them excited about what Pensacola State College has to offer.
The event also brought strong community involvement, with Baptist Hospital’s LifeFlight Helicopter and The Escambia County Mobile One Emergency Command Center being on site; as well as members of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). HOSA is a student organization whose mission is to promote career opportunities in health care and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.
Injecting hot dogs, touching human lungs and simulating delivering a baby are among some of the hands-on activities students experienced. Christine Manrique, bio-medical science teacher at West Florida High School said, “This event opens the students’ eyes to all the different health careers out there and gives them a fabulous opportunity to see exactly what’s available and offered in fields they are interested in.”
Aside from covering the registration process as well as Bachelor Degree programs offered, students were broken into groups and taken on rotations which high-lighted program opportunities including; Physical Therapy Assistant, Radiology, Phlebotomy, Nursing, EMT, Paramedic, Dental Hygiene, LifeFlight, and Emergency Response Unit.
Within the 15 rotations, the EMT program had an exciting portrayal of a simulated emergency house call of a woman unexpectedly giving birth. Student volunteers were asked to evaluate the emergency situation and deliver the baby. The Paramedic department had human lungs on display for the students to see expand and contract of both healthy lungs and that of a smoker’s, as well as a human heart, tongue and many other hands-on items for the students to explore. The Radiography department had x-rays of the human body set up in a puzzle form for the students to decipher as well as many different stations for them to experience hands-on.
Jennifer Ponson, coordinator of student & program outreach and coordinator of the event said, “This event exposes students to every opportunity available with an excellent hands-on experience.”
For more information on next year’s event you can contact Jennifer Ponson at (850) 484-2245. For information on HOSA you can visit http://www.hosa.org