Laura Johnson of New Philadelphia was recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the Union Hospital UH TECH program. Johnson recently graduated from Indian Valley High School and has been accepted into the physical therapy assistant program at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio.
Laura Johnson receives a personal demonstration of
physicial therapy technique from Jeremy Klaserner,
coordinator of outpatient rehabilitation at the UH
Johnson says choosing a career in physical therapy will be a change from a family tradition of nursing.
?My mother and grandmother were both nurses,? said Johnson. ?My family encouraged me to go into nursing, as well, so that was my plan. I never was really that excited about becoming a nurse, but I enrolled in the UH TECH program to learn more about the field.?
UH TECH, sponsored by Union Hospital in Dover, stands for Teens Exploring Careers in Healthcare. Hospital staff plan and conduct monthly programs throughout the school year offering students an opportunity to gain up-close, hands-on knowledge about many different healthcare careers.
Johnson says she found all of the meetings interesting, but one in particular would have a lasting impact on her.
?I attended the UH TECH meeting in December at the Healthplex where we learned about careers in physical therapy and occupational therapy,? Johnson explained. ?I found that I loved the atmosphere, compared to a hospital setting. I also enjoyed the close relationships I saw between the patients and therapists.?
?That program helped me decide that I wanted a career in physical therapy instead of nursing and I?m very excited to start my career,? Johnson added.
Before she begins classes at Hocking College in the fall Johnson plans to job shadow physical therapists at the Union Hospital Healthplex this summer as part of her college requirements.
?I think that for anyone interested in a healthcare career, the UH TECH program would be the best thing you can do,? said Johnson. ?You don?t just hear about these careers; they actually take you and show you everything. It?s a completely different experience.?
Each year a graduating member of UH TECH, planning to pursue a career in healthcare, is awarded a scholarship by Union Hospital. UH TECH begins each school year with an organizational meeting in October and monthly meetings at the hospital through May. For more information contact the hospital?s Community Relations office at (330) 602-0778 or visit the UH TECH page on Facebook.