Alicia McFarlane, at right, wraps up her friend at the medical camp.
Jacob Tuttle and Chance Huntington attend medical camp at SUU.
"What should I do for the rest of my life?" "What kind of career would I enjoy?" "What kind of education will I need to get?"
These are questions that many high school students think about. To help make that decision students from Emery High School and Green River High School, along with 95 other high school students in Utah, recently traveled to Cedar City, to attend the Southern Utah University Center for Rural Health's 10th annual Health Career Exploration Camp on June 9 â 11.
Attending from Emery High School were Chance Huntington and Jacob Tuttle of Orangeville. Attending from Green River High School was Alicia McFarlane. The camp, designed to help high school students explore the health care industry, provided three-days of hands-on experiences and learning opportunities for all who attended.
At the camp, participants were divided into six groups and rotated among 16 different workshops. Some of the workshops featured health career skills where participants learned to how to suture, cast arms, check blood sugar levels, take a blood pressure, intubate and maintain an airway, give an injection, provide first-aid, use and read an EKG machine, take an x-ray and more.
In science labs students looked at blood smears through microscopes, learned how diseases are spread, extracted their own DNA, made their own teeth impressions, dissected sheep eyes and cow hearts, learned how to investigate a crime scene and learned about pharmacy by making their own chapstick. Careers that were featured included, respiratory therapy, nursing, physical therapy, physician assistant, medical technologist, physician, veterinarian, forensic science, EMT, radiologist, pharmacist, geneticist, and dentist.
At the camp students also participated in the SUU Challenge Course where they learned team-work and leadership skills. A dance and catered dinner at a local park were also highlights of the camp. Participants were housed at The Eccles Living Learning Center at SUU and were able to experience what college life would be like as they lived and learned together while at Southern Utah University.
Because there is such a need for more health care workers in rural Utah, the goal for this camp is simple. "This camp is specifically 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. 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. "Each year our camp continues to grow, and this year we had our largest group ever. Students from Montezuma Creek to Vernal and Nephi to St. George and everywhere in between attended camp this year and had a great time."
The Health Career Exploration Camp will be held again next year at Southern Utah University in June. For more information about future camps, or to learn more about the Utah Center for Rural Health visit their website at www.suu.edu/ruralhealth, or you can call 1-888-89RURAL.