Mayo Clinic Career Immersion Program

Hanan Wazwaz, right, and Rachel Stark, bottom middle, both paramedic students with the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, show high school students intubation techniques in a Gold Cross ambulance during Mayo Clinic’s career immersion program Tuesday at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus in Rochester.

On Tuesday, Aubree Redd dyed liver samples in a histology lab, toured the Mayo One helicopter pad and learned how to control a severe bleed with (and without) combat tourniquets.

Not bad for a 17-year-old high school student.

Redd attends North High School in St. Paul with an interest in medical careers that “make the patient feel secure.”

Her mother is a surgical technician, and Redd knew she was going to go into a medical career. Previously, she thought a job as a nurse anesthetist would fit the bill. But as part of Mayo’s Career Immersion program, Redd got to experience a whole host of other possible paths.

“I get to learn about more things, so when I’m actually making lists and making my decision, I’ll have way more information and know what I want to do,” she said.

Earlier that day, Redd sat in the back of an ambulance as Hanan Wazwaz tugged an oxygen mask over a dummy’s face.

Wazwaz and Rachael Stark, students in the paramedic program, answered questions about emergency care as they set up an emergency scenario and provided care for a dummy.

The demonstration was brief, and didn’t cover every obstacle EMTs and paramedics face (dummies can’t barf on you when you intubate them, for example), but it was enough, they hoped, to give the students a feel for the career.

Ruth Bello of Mayo Clinic’s school of Health Science said the Career Immersion program creates awareness of different careers in medicine.

The Mayo School of Health Sciences trains students in 55 careers — and not only the ones guidance counselors and aptitude tests recommend.

Bello said the students would see and experience 15 “non-doctor, non-nurse” careers firsthand, and hear about maybe 10 more as they went through the week.

“We’re helping them decide — or at least getting them closer to a career,” Bello said. As all of the jobs students see require prerequisites and schooling, it will also help the students get to their desired field faster.

On Thursday, the students will do “career pathing,” Bello said, which will take stock of the classes and experience they have, their desired goals, and what they’ll need to get from point A to point B.

The program is competitive, requiring an application, references, and interviews.

By the middle of day two, Redd had added histology and sleep medicine to her list of possible careers.

“It’s a really cool program,” Redd said. “I’m glad I got to be part of it.”

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Anne writes for Rochester Magazine and the Post Bulletin, and edits 507 Magazine. She hails from Lafayette, Indiana and enjoys reading, tea-drinking, and her cat, Newt Scameownder.