In an effort to respond to an expected shortage in the number of health care workers within the next decade, Rock Valley College and each of the three area health systems are holding their fifth annual Healthcare Career Fair for junior high and high school students, Thursday, April 21 and Friday, April 22, at Rock Valley College.
OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford Health System, SwedishAmerican Health System, Rock Valley College and the Tech Prep Education to Careers Program have joined forces to hold the fair in the RVC Physical Education Center. A session will be held Thursday, April 21 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. that is open to the public.
Friday, April 22 is set aside for groups from junior high and high schools across RVCs five-county district. Students will attend in groups from area schools from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More than 5,000 students have attended the fair in the past four years.
The event is designed to show students that the health care field offers a variety of career opportunities not limited to physicians and nurses. Interactive exhibits allow students to work with lab equipment and try their hands at medical procedures on patients. Staff members from each health system will host these individual booths, which provide information about different careers.
There are two new additions to this years career fair.
The first is a special booth that will be open during the Thursday evening session. Middle and high school health, math and science teachers, school counselors, vocational program directors and principals will be invited to visit this booth.
The Career Fair and Educators Booth will provide an opportunity to bring together the people most influential to students making career and educational choices together with information and people connected to health care careers.
Material on health care careers will be available at the booth as well as recommended classroom activities that will help educators guide students on health care career choices. Representatives from health-related groups in the community may also be available to talk with school representatives.
The second addition is a booth to promote non-traditional careers in health care.
Nursing and other health care careers are excellent career choices for men as well as women. Conversely, careers such as those in emergency medical services, which are often thought of as being careers for men, offer excellent career choices for women.
The Non-Traditional Health Care Careers booth will be used to break down career myths and to share the message that health care brings rich career opportunities for both men and women if non-traditional options are considered.
Occupations represented at the Healthcare Career Fair include registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, certified nursing assistant, rehabilitation careers, respiratory care, clinical laboratory sciences, emergency medical services, surgical technology, medical imaging/radiation therapy, dental hygiene, pharmacy, health information management, athletic training and sports medicine and womens and childrens health.
The Healthcare Career Fair is intended for junior high and high school students. It is not a job recruitment fair, though it can be a useful resource for adults considering career changes. The event is designed to demonstrate that health care offers dynamic, interesting and rewarding careers with high levels of job satisfaction. Participants will have the opportunity to talk with professionals and students in the field and learn about the education and skills they need to enter a particular area of interest.
The Fair will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, April 21, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, April 22, in the Rock Valley College Physical Education Center.
For more information, contact Rock Valley College at (815) 921-3210, or on the Web at http://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/healthfair.
From the April 20-26, 2005 issue