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What do you want to be when you grow up? Many young people say they want to be doctors or nurses, not knowing exactly what it takes to pursue a career in the healthcare field. To help high school students pursue their passions, Ashe Memorial Hospital’s Camp Med Summer Program allows students who are interested in healthcare to experience firsthand what it is like to work in the field. With projected shortages in nursing in North Carolina, it is important to inspire and recruit the next generation of healthcare professionals.
This year, Camp Med was held from June 6-10 and included eleven students in grades 9-12. The program was designed to expose students to the various aspects of medicine and potential career opportunities available to them should they decide to pursue a career in healthcare.
“Camp Med is a wonderful opportunity for local students to begin to explore if a career in the medical field might be right for them,” said Angel Gouge, education manager for Ashe Memorial Hospital.
During the program, students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of events and activities including CPR, aquatic therapy, dissection of a fetal pig and job shadowing opportunities, where they were exposed to a variety of clinical experiences, among other team building exercises.
Students had the chance to travel to Lees-McRae College where they explored the Hart Simulation Center in the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences, which features 3G wireless human simulators in a simulated inpatient hospital. They learned and practiced how to administer shots, check blood pressure, and swaddle newborns.
The students also networked with faculty members from Wilkes Community College’s Nursing School and Respiratory Therapy Program, Ashe Medics, Highlands Emergency Air Rescue & Transport and Dr. Joel Yates, Jr., DDS to learn more about their respective careers and the services they provide.
“Camp Med provided me with numerous opportunities to observe medical settings,” said Zoey Krider, a rising junior. “One of my favorite experiences was getting to tour the medical helicopter and visit with the flight nurse.”
“They get to learn and experience through direct observation, hands-on training, group discussions and key speaker presentations. They also become aware of the patient’s experience and all the teamwork involved in patient care. We are fortunate to even have returning students who enjoyed the experience so much, they want to learn more,” said Gouge.
The Camp Med Summer Program is an annual weeklong experience provided by the Northwest Area Health Education Center (AHEC), a program of Wake Forest School of Medicine and part of the NC AHEC System. Learn more about the program.