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Oklahoma students learn about careers in health care

Students from several schools across the Oklahoma City metro learned Friday about a variety of careers in health care during a career fair at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: March 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm •  Published: March 2, 2013
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Whitney Harris stood at a table with friends, holding a blood-red animal lung in her gloved hands.

The John Marshall High School senior listened to a respiratory therapist explain how the heart and lungs work.

Harris looked less grossed-out than her friends, a good thing since she is interested in possibly pursuing a career in health care.

“It interests me how the body works and how everything goes along with the body and how it functions and what types of technologies are used to care for certain things in the body,” Harris said.

Harris was one of about 600 students from the Oklahoma City metro area who attended a high school health care career fair Friday at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City.

For most of the afternoon, students mingled around the room, looking at several booths, including an animal heart and lungs at an exhibit about respiratory care, a model of the stomach and digestive tract and a booth about nutrition scattered with fruits and vegetables.

Teresa Featherly, one of the fair's organizers, said events like this help introduce students to fields of medicine and give them a behind-the-scenes look at health care.

“Sometimes it's a very sterile environment, sometimes it's a scary environment, but there's a very human aspect to it, and I think this gives them a different comfort level,” said Featherly, a nurse recruiter at Mercy.

When most people think of jobs in health care, they think of doctors or nurses, she said.

However, there are several opportunities in health care, and presently, the state faces a shortage in some of those job categories, she said.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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Sometimes it's a very sterile environment, sometimes it's a scary environment, but there's a very human aspect to it, and I think this gives them a different comfort level.”

Teresa Featherly,
nurse recruiter at Mercy Hospital

and one of the fair's organizers

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