JOPLIN, Mo. — An area hospital is doing its part to help high school students make the right health care career choice.

So you think you want to work in a hospital, but are not sure in what capacity?

Figuring out that role is one of the goals of the Freeman Health Academy which is open to select area high school students like Kristina Bethel from McDonald County.

“When I was little I was like, oh I want to be a surgeon, surgery surgery surgery, and then I was like, I want to have a family so I’m thinking more emergency department for that adrenaline rush, I work good under pressure,” said Kristina Bethel, McDonald County High School Senior.

It’s a similar story for McAuley Catholic’s Juliet Anreder.

“Ever since a little kid I’ve known I want to be a doctor, and I thought this would also just give me a really good view on what other career options there are because doctoring is like 12 years of school, and I don’t know if that’s like necessarily what I want to do so it’s really good to see other options,” said Juliet Anreder, McAuley Catholic High School Junior.

As part of the academy, students tour a variety of departments including oncology, rehabilitation, the emergency department, cath lab, ICU, pharmacy, laboratory, and air transport.

On Friday, the last day of the academy, students will get to job shadow employees in a department of their choice.

“All of us know that education’s expensive. It’s hard to make a commitment to something that you think you know a lot about but you might not know what that daily grind is, and so this gives them the chance to see what a day in the life of doing really any role here is,” said Natalie Feast R.N., Clinical Student Education.

They also had the chance to work on suturing skills while dissecting a fetal pig.

Why that particular animal?

Because their skin is similar to human skin when it comes to thickness.