WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — More than 100 high school students went out to Beaufort County Community College on Wednesday to learn more about jobs in the healthcare field. It was part of a career expo put on by ECU Health Beaufort and Beaufort County Schools.

ECU Health Beaufort officials said they need to build relationships with the high schools in order to recruit students to the healthcare industry. This was their first expo for students interested in the medical field.

“So, that is exactly what our health care career expo is to do, is to build relationships with our students and with our community to say, ‘hey this is what we have available,’ and give them that education and information so they can make a decision about what works best for them,” said Heather Hamilton with ECU Health Beaufort.

Those with Beaufort County Schools said this event helps show students just how broad the healthcare field can be.

“We’re all aware that doctors and nurses are needed. But maybe they’re not so aware of the accounting and the IT, and the electrical and the HVAC, and all of the other different jobs that go into the careers in health care,” said Victoria Hamill with Beaufort County Schools.

Students agree the expo helped them learn about career options they did not know about before.

“Yea I definitely think this helps to take off the pressure of finding a career that’s in the hospital but not directly related to patient care because it’s a little nerve-wracking when trying to think of an occupation but just knowing you want to be in the field,” said Jacob Taylor, a student in the Beaufort County Schools system.

Those with ECU Health Beaufort said recruiting students now could ease the medical field staffing shortages later.

“I think this will help with the shortages that we’re experiencing in health care because we don’t realize many times, it’s not just nurses and doctors that make health care run,” said ECU Health Beaufort’s Juli Forbes. “And if we don’t partner together now to secure these students as they are growing up into adulthood, as they move into the career field, we … we may miss them.”