Health professions career awareness program for seventh- and eighth-grade African-American students: a pilot study.

Abstract

This exploratory, cross-sectional study was designed to gauge the interest and health career choices of African-American students before high school and to determine their level of satisfaction with a health career awareness program. Over a three-year period, 133 seventh-grade students (47%) and eighth-grade students (53%) enrolled in a Southside Chicago Catholic school were recruited; 98% were African-American. The students participated in a career awareness program, which consisted of lectures, video presentation, interactive discussion, and college campus visits. Each student completed a questionnaire that sought demographic information, health career choice, career preference, and level of satisfaction with the awareness program implemented. For career choice, 39% of the students selected "doctor" and dentist, 28% selected occupational therapy, 15% selected social work, 11% selected nursing, and 7% selected health information administration. The majority of the students (51%) were "very satisfied" and 49% were "satisfied" with the program that was implemented. We found no discernable difference in the health career interest and career choice of the study participants over the three-year period. Our findings reconfirmed a continuing limited level of awareness about allied health professions among African-American students before high school. Follow-up studies should expand the scope and contents of the awareness program to include other health professions, field trips, and mentoring by health care providers or health professional students.

Cite this paper

@article{Balogun2005HealthPC, title={Health professions career awareness program for seventh- and eighth-grade African-American students: a pilot study.}, author={Joseph A Balogun and Patricia E Sloan and Karen Hardney}, journal={Journal of allied health}, year={2005}, volume={34 4}, pages={236-43} }