Students attend health career camp
The 16th annual Health Career Exploration Camp, sponsored by Southern Utah AHEC and the Utah Center for Rural Health, was recently held at Southern Utah University, and was attended by Camrey Johnson, Elizabeth Sprague and Zachery Fauver of Emery High School. The camp was held June 9 - 11, and was designed to expose students to future careers in health care. The students from Emery High School, along with 60 other high school students, explored the health care industry through three-days of hands-on experiences and learning opportunities for all who attended.
At the camp, participants were divided into four groups and rotated among 14 different workshops. Some of the workshops featured health career skills where participants learned to suture, take blood pressures, intubate and maintain an airway, provide first-aid, patient transfer techniques, operating room procedures, proper wound care techniques and more. In science labs students looked at blood smears through microscopes, conducted science experiments, learned how diseases are spread, made their own teeth impressions, dissected sheep eyes and sheep hearts, and learned about pharmacy by making their own chapstick. Careers that were featured at the camp included, Respiratory Therapy, Nursing, Nurse Practitioner, Medical Technologist, Physician, Veterinarian, Medical Radiology, Forensic Science, EMT, Pharmacist, Optometrist, and Dentist.
Dr. Jeff Gardner, Emergency Room doctor at Valley View Medical Center in Cedar City, was the keynote speaker at the camp. Dr. Gardner encouraged the students to pursue a health care career for the right reasons, and to put a lot of thought into what kind of a career would work best for them. Participants also took part in the SUU Challenge Course where they learned team-work and leadership skills. A visit to a local park to play volleyball, ultimate Frisbee and have a dance were also a highlight of the camp.
Because there is a strong need for health care workers in rural Utah, the goal for this camp is simple. "This camp is designed to give students from rural areas opportunities to learn about health care careers in a hands-on way that is not always available to them. It's also an opportunity for students to spend time on a college campus and get a glimpse of what college life will be like. Our hope is that by introducing students to health care from rural areas, they will ultimately choose to pursue a health care career and return to a rural area to work after their education is finished," stated Carrie Torgersen, coordinator of the camp.