Bryanna Norden, 18, (third from left) and other Burlington High School students listen to an anesthesiologist during Health Career Exploration Day at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center on March 16.
Burlington High School senior Bryanna Norden has a big decision to make: whether to attend Stonehill College or Assumption College this coming fall.
One decision not on her mind is what she will study when she gets there. Norden wants to major in biology with a health care focus so she can become a physician assistant.
“I’ve always liked health care and know I don’t want to be a nurse or surgeon, so a PA is a good in between,” said Norden, 18.
She was one of seven Burlington High School students who visited Lahey Hospital & Medical Center on March 16 as part of Health Careers Exploration Day. The program, organized by Volunteer & Community Services in collaboration with clinical staff, allows students interested in pursuing health care-related careers to meet and interview medical professionals from throughout the hospital. While touring the Emergency Department, Laboratory Medicine, the SICU, and other departments, students spoke with nurses, anesthesiologists, unit coordinators and surgeons. The group even practiced taking vital signs on a simulation dummy in the Simulation Lab.
“There are so many paths for careers in health care that it can be hard to know where you would best fit,” said Grayce Ventura, Nurse Educator and Nursing Simulation Coordinator. “This program helps students understand their options better, so they can ultimately make a more informed choice.”
And the students are happy to have the chance. Senior Niket Patel, who plans on majoring in computer science and biology at Northeastern next fall, got wide-eyed during the Radiology portion of the tour.
“I am loving this,” said Patel. “I am all about the intersection of health care and technology so this is great.”
At the end of a jam-packed morning walking the long hallways of the hospital, the students sat and reflected on their experiences.
“I was wicked excited leading up to this day and it was great,” Norden said. “Having this experience is going to help me figure out what exactly I want to specialize in when I go to college.”