Meridian High students get closer look at health care careers

O.N.E. StudentMeridian High School ninth graders got a one-of-kind opportunity – and the first field trip of the year - when they participated in a unique camp, Experience the O.N.E. – Occupations Not Usually Explored by Men.

Meridian Community College hosted the camp in which approximately 40 students explored health professions. This half-day session was made possible through a grant from Mississippi Community College Board. The grant’s objective is to recruit males in non-traditional fields of work.

MHS students toured health care programs including the Associate Degree Nursing, Medical Lab Technology, Respiratory Care Practitioner, Medical Assisting, Surgical Technology and Health Information Technology.

“Experience the O.N.E. camp is designed to provide a bridge for these students to move from their high school classrooms to the practical applications of hands-on learning and then to employment,” said Lori Smith, MCC dean of workforce education.

And since many high school students are undecided about their careers, the camp offers students a chance to make a more informed choice about their future, Smith added.

“We’re hoping through this exposure they might see something that they’ve not seen before and become interested and possibly pursue a career in that area,” said Holli Cobb, academic counselor for Meridian Public School District.

One of the students, Frederick Liddell, said he enjoyed the experience of discovering potential health care opportunities – even eye-opening ones. In one of the Associate Degree Nursing Program simulation lab scenarios, high-fidelity manikins that mimic human actions, such as breathing and eye blinking, are used as teaching aids. Upon first seeing the realistic manikin, Liddell said, “I was kind of scared at first …I did not know what it was going to do.”