Zombies help out at health career fair
By Stephen Montoya / Rio Rancho Observer
Saturday, November 19th, 2016 at 12:02am
The “walking dead” invaded Sandoval County Fire Station No. 21, which was playing host to this year’s Allied Health Career Fair.
Rio Rancho and Bernalillo high school drama students dressed up as zombies as a fun way to illustrate the importance of allied health care in the case of an epidemic outbreak.
The fire station at Santa Ana Pueblo volunteered space to host the career fair, which included information tables for UNM West, CNM and Highlands University.
Many health care teachers and professionals were also in attendance handing out fliers and giving demonstrations to interested students.
Two programs were conducted at the fire station, with high school students coming in from Cuba, Bernalillo and Rio Rancho.
Richard Draper, program manager for the Sandoval Health Collaborative, said the fastest-growing employment sector in health care is in the allied health field useful source.
“These are the workers that support doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists,” Draper said. “Everyone outside of those four professions are considered allied health.”
Physical therapy assistants, surgical technicians, and dental and optometry assistants are all just a few of the positions available in the allied health care field, he said.
Draper says those positions are in great demand now because of the growing population in this area in need of health care.
“One of the driving initiatives of the health collaborative is to promote these allied health careers so students know they exist, and know that our local health care providers are hiring and that there are local classes for students to be trained in these fields,” Draper said.
Lindsey Bomke, director of clinical education at Sandoval Regional Medical Center, said the goal of the career fair was to inform teenagers that there is a possibility of working in their own community after just a few years’ training.
“They can do their clinical experience and become professionals in the county that they grew up in,” Bomke said.
Any experience students can get volunteering in health care is a great way to get to know more about the field, she said.
“Our hospital has volunteer services like working at the front desk and helping check a person in, which is a great way for high school and early college students to find out about all the different fields that are in health care,” Bomke said.
There is a huge demand for employees in health care and allied health care fields, she said.