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What does your child or student want to be when he or she grows up? Think it’s too soon to ask? The NW PA AHEC believes reaching children at a young age and explaining, in an age-appropriate way, about health careers, benefits both your child or student and also our community at large. Far too often our health career opportunity programs focus on middle and high school age children. Many children at this age have already diminished their opportunity for success through poor academic choices in science and math. Therefore, it is critical that the encouragement,
education, and empowerment of our youth toward health careers begin sooner. That’s why, at the NW PA AHEC, we’re targeting and promoting health careers to children as young as age four by educating them on the possibilities in the health care industry.

Despite the fact that a future career in health can be both personally and also professionally rewarding, far too few students choose this career path. As a result, many areas of our country are experiencing a critical shortage of health care professionals. Future Medical Technicians, Nurses and even Physicians are desperately needed as our country’s aging population continues to expand at a record pace.

The Great Hospital Adventure©

The Northwest Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center offers The Great Hospital Adventure; a health careers and healthy behaviors presentation for young children, ages four to nine. This multi-media presentation includes a live puppet show, video or DVD, coloring book, and an interactive question and answer session. The program activities emphasize non-traditional roles and multi-cultural images. Great Hospital Adventure

Program Objectives:

  • Increase awareness level of early learners (ages 4-9) in medical career opportunities.
  • Understand the non-traditional and multi-cultural roles in health care and transfer from the make-believe (puppet show) to the real-life professional role models in the community.
  • Identify the local emergency number 911 and discuss emergency plans and instructions.
  • Identify healthy behaviors while playing the “Stay Healthy” game in the coloring book.

The program is the only one of its kind in the U.S. aimed at this age group, which traditionally has been overlooked as a source for nurturing future health care professionals. The Great Hospital Adventure has been presented to over one million elementary-age students across the country. Children and teachers love this upbeat and useful presentation! Read what educators are saying about our program:

“The Presenters were excellent! The material was interesting and on the level of the children. 
The children really enjoyed the coloring book and liked being able to work with the puppets.” 
Pat Lee- Teacher at McKinley School

“Well presented! The presenters were professional and knew the subject. 
We would like them back next year.” 
Karen Shrum- Teacher, St. John the Baptist School

“A great presentation! The topics were closely related to our health/science curriculum.” 
Teacher- Wesleyville Elementary

“It was great for the children to see the many areas of health care and 
the non-traditional role models. We appreciate it!” 

Teacher- Clark Elementary

To schedule a free program in Northwest Pennsylvania, or for more information on the Great Hospital Adventure© program contact Jane Mullinax at the NW PA AHEC. Visit our Products section for information on purchasing this program for your school or organization.…Because it’s never too early to ask kids what they want to be when they grow up.