Students go behind the scenes at hospital to increase interest i - KCTV5 News

Students go behind the scenes at hospital to increase interest in jobs

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Forget algebra and geology. Some local students are learning what it's like to be inside the hospital and save lives.

Dozens of Pleasant Hill High School students ditched the classroom for a day to check out the University of Kansas Hospital and University of Kansas Medical Center.

They watched blood work being tested and heard firsthand accounts of brain surgery. They saw a robot at work sorting pills for thousands of patients. 

It wasn't just a field trip. The hospital is working with schools to get students interested in being lab technicians. 

“There's a vast number of roles that our health care system demands,” said Johna Geist, a biology, anatomy and physiology teacher. 

Kids know they can study to be doctors and nurses, but may not know that there's a lot of behind-the-scenes work that needs well-educated technicians. 

“The nursing part of it, we just get the medications, but don't get to see how they're made,” said Julianna Holguin, a senior at Pleasant Hill High School. “There is just so much stuff that goes into everything.”

The type of workers are in high demand. The hospitals and schools want to teach students about the opportunities now because they said many don't learn about careers like lab technicians until they're almost done with college.

“Then they haven't prepared well to enter those careers in the most efficient and timely manner possible,” said Eric Elsinghorst, with the department of clinical laboratory sciences.

“They won't need jobs in between, they're ready and getting hired and recruited right out of college,” Gist said.

Students who visited the hospitals said it was an eye-opening experience.

“It's kind of awesome and it kind of gives me the chills to think that one day I could be here,” said Emma Wiedaman, a senior at Pleasant Hill.

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about medical lab tech careers, call the University of Kansas Medical Center at 913-588-5221 or email

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