Healthcare Fair


Bianca Pate, Assistant Editor in Chief

     Are you considering entering the medical field? Do you have questions about entering the medical field that you wish you could ask people who have gone through the process of becoming a medical professional? I am in the same position as many of you are. I have millions of questions, but am unsure of who to ask. Carlow University, Excela Health, and Westmoreland Community College recognized that there are many of us wish to learn more, so they hosted a Careers in Healthcare Fair on January 31, 2018 in the Greater Latrobe CSC. Over thirty students from our community attended from high schools in our area such as: Greater Latrobe, Derry, and even Greensburg Salem.

     Amazing people came to talk to including: certified HR professional Beth Neffield, Director of Carlow’s HIMA (Health Information Management and Analytics) program Dr. Michael Kistler, Vascular Surgeon Dr. David Kenney, Registered Respiratory Therapist, Kathy Palombo, Assistant Professor of Nursing at WCCC, Melinda Rossell, and Critical Care Nurse Carla Tomas. The entire panel was truly down-to-earth and was able to help all students who had any questions.

Throughout the discussion conducted by the panel of medical professionals, students were provided with lots of information that can help prepare for a future in healthcare. The following are the points that were emphasized throughout the discussion:

  1. There is much more to the medical field than what is portrayed in Grey’s Anatomy. – On modern television shows, often times healthcare careers are often glamorized and portrayed incorrectly. We are filled with an image that the medical field is filled with lots of drama and tragedy, but what the television shows fail to portray is love and care that is given to every patient.
  2. Nurses do more than you think. – On the panel was Assistant Professor of Nursing at WCCC in Youngwood, Melinda Rossell, who describes that there is much more to nursing that many of us do not know. Nurses are not only for “hanging IV” bags, but are responsible for caring for patients and giving each patient individual attention. She also describes nursing as “an art and science,” for one sees something new every day as a nurse.
  3. If you are into Business and Technology, HIMA is for you. – Have you ever wondered what happens with all of your information obtained at your doctors’ appointments? Whether it’s your height, X-rays, or blood work, information is constantly generated. HIMA (Health Information Management and Analytics) specialists like Director of Carlow’s HIMA program Dr. Michael Kistler are responsible for organizing and protecting this information. This information can be used for various things such as: to analyze changes happening within a population and to better patient care. Kistler explained how there are a vast number of jobs available with a HIMA degree, and the average starting salary is around $96,000.
  4. Respiratory Therapy is another great way to go. – Registered Respiratory Therapist, Kathy Palombo describes the perfect person to become a Respiratory Therapist is someone who is an independent thinker, enjoys working with equipment, and loves to work with people and in teams. Does this sound like you? If so maybe you should consider Respiratory Therapy as a possible career option.
  5. Start taking courses in high school to prepare you. – The panel highly recommended taking the course Anatomy and Physiology during college. Luckily, similar courses are offered here at Greater Latrobe! If you are considering entering the medical field, start early so that you will be better prepared.
  6. It’s not about the money… You must love what you do. – If you simply desire to become a Doctor for the sole purpose of becoming rich and gaining prestige, you are in this game for the wrong reason as Dr. Kenney describes. He described how all of us have talents that make us unique. He advises students to do what you love and use these talents, because you will be doing this for the rest of your life. You can’t look at this as being your job; it is your passion.
  7. Start shadowing ASAP. – Why wait until later to see if the medical field is right for you? It is never too early to start thinking about your future. Are you unsure of how to set up a shadowing experience? Don’t worry… Stop down and see Mr. Princeton; he is here to help.
  8. You can only make it with hard work. – Dr. Kenney explained to students how he only is where he is today because of hard work. It is a long road ahead, but with hard work, anything is possible!