A free program for middle and high school students interested in exploring various careers within a hospital will begin Tuesday evening.

Schneck Medical Center’s 2015 Health Career Discovery Program offers young people the opportunity to learn more about the different areas of health care and how to prepare for a future in the field.

“Students are obtaining valuable information and experiences that help shape their future and prepare them for higher education and good-paying careers,” said Angie Cockerham, coordinator of the program.

Health Career Discovery, which has been around since the 1980s, features speakers from a variety of health care services, including physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. Last year, more than 50 students participated.

Students tour parts of the hospital and receive hands-on practice in a variety of departments.

Each session, conducted on different days, will feature a different topic in the health care field.

The first session will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Schneck’s auditorium, which is just inside the visitors entrance. It will focus on family practice physicians. Dr. John Fye and Dr. Dave Hartung will explore several areas of care, such as performing a colonoscopy and stitching up a cut.

Dr. Eric Fish attended the program as a student, when it was called Medical Explorers. He said it influenced him to pursue a medical career. Beginning with a summer job for the grounds department during high school, Fish is now the vice president of Physician Practices.

“I think it is wonderful that these kids have the opportunity to see all areas of the hospital, not just physicians,” said Fish, who will conduct a session about obstetrics and gynecology. “It can spark an interest in them and allow them to investigate these interests.”

Other Schneck employees who attended the program and are now employed there include Dr. Joyce Spurgeon, psychiatrist; Tammy Covert, occupational therapy; and Lance Tape, physical therapist.

The other sessions include:

Diagnostic imaging. Students will learn from certified technicians about the different specialties, including ultrasounds, MRIs, CTs and X-rays. The program is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Schneck’s auditorium.

Surgery and anesthesia. Dr. Amanda Dick, a general surgeon, and Dr. Kellie Parke, an anesthesiologist, along with a surgical technologist will lead a tour through the surgical unit. Students will get to suit up and see the da Vinci surgical robot and some of the common tools used in surgical procedures. The program is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 5 at Schneck’s auditorium.

Rehabilitation services. Students will learn about sports injuries and recovery after illness. They also will get to tour Schneck’s Rehabilitation Services facility and learn about related career paths, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and wound care. The program is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 7 at Schneck Rehab Services, 100 Walnut St., Seymour.

Schneck obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Eric Fish will share his experience as an OB/GYN doctor. Students will view a live ultrasound during the presentation. The program is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 12 at Schneck’s auditorium.

All interested individuals are invited to attend any or all of the sessions, and no registration is required.

The program is geared toward middle and high school students; however, it also is open to college students or individuals of any age interested in a health care career. Parents may attend with students if they wish.

At a glance

The 2015 Health Career Discovery Program will conduct one-hour programs during the evenings of Tuesday, Thursday, May 5, May 7 and May 12.

For information, contact Angie Cockerham at 812-523-0630.