Students from Middletown and Madison high schools toured the Atrium Medical Center on Friday as part of the health provider and local chamber of commerce’s efforts to expose more youth to career options. Wendy Mitchell, nurse manager in Atrium’s emergency room, demonstrates some of the life-saving equipment used in their work.

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That’s the hope of school, hospital and local business leaders who are looking to create a local pipeline of health care workers for the booming Interstate 75 medical care corridor between Cincinnati and Dayton.

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Nearly two dozen students from Madison and Middletown high schools we’re given an insider’s tour that included the Middletown hospital’s emergency room, medical helicopter landing pad, physical therapy wing and other facilities.

The teens learned about the need for speed in treating stroke victims from ER Nurse Manager Wendy Mitchell, who told them “time is brain” in stressing the quick actions needed to save stroke victims from further injury to their brains.

While some of the students sat on the bed that feeds into a circular CT scanning machine, a CT technologist told them about the different types of internal imaging the device can reveal in patients.

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Madison junior Sydney Shelly watched it all with keen attention.

She wants to be a biomedical engineer and she described her first hospital tour as “excellent.”

“I think it’s cool how they gives us these opportunities to explore these careers,” said Shelly.

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The youth tours are “a wonderful chance for students to get an up close look at real world careers,” said Atrium Hospital Relations Manager Anita Jones.

“We have many students who have expressed interest in healthcare both clinical and non-clinical positions and they get to meet and talk with those who actually in the positions. These type of opportunities can help shape and solidify a student career aspiration,” said Jones, who credited the Middletown, Monroe and Trenton Chamber of Commerce for its student-oriented tours of local industries.

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Rick Pearce, president of the chamber, said, “our hope is that through these tours, a number of students will identify their passion and Atrium Medical Center offers scores of careers that are directly related to patient care and behind the scenes.”

“Manufacturing and healthcare provide for a great deal of employment in our region,” said Pearce, whose chamber also recently arranged student and teacher tours of AK Steel in Middletown.

“It’s important for us to build awareness with our students of the opportunities that exist in those industries. By working closely with local business and area schools, tours are provided to students to learn more about the careers these two industries have to offer,” he said.

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