Area high school students had the opportunity recently to learn about possible careers inside the health care industry by taking part in the Appalachian Health Education Center (AHEC) Career Craze Summer Scrubs Camp held at Harlan ARH.
The event was a three-day event and attracted students ages 12-15 years of age who, for the upcoming school year, will be enrolling in the seventh through ninth grades. To take part in the program, students must have a grade point average of 2.5 or better and have a deep interest in health care.
The camp, coordinated by Shandeal Fields, health career program coordinator for the SKCTC/AHEC module that is operated by the University of Kentucky, recently hosted a group of 18 junior high school students. The camp for Harlan County was held as a partnership between Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Workforce Solutions, AHEC and Harlan ARH.
Students took “behind the scene” tours at Harlan ARH learning how its takes much more than doctors and nurses to run a hospital facility. Additionally, students learned how to draw blood using a simulated arm and how to analyze blood in order to determine its type.
The group also toured the pharmacy and talked with pharmacists about education pathways into the profession. A field trip was also taken to Lincoln Memorial University where students took a tour of the DeBusk School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Moreover, a recorded laparoscopic surgery was shown of a chest tumor being removed from a child and students were able to intubate simulators and learn about respiratory therapy from Lori Johnson. Also, they learned to apply suturing methods as taught by Dr. Fazal Ahmad.
The students also toured the radiography and pathology departments and learned much about infection control by discussing, at length, hand washing procedures and viruses and ways to halt the spread of germs. They also learned about geriatric care of patients by taking a trip to the Harlan Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Additionally, students were able to simulate surgery in the operating suite, using state-of-the-art surgical tools.
According to Fields, a total of three camps will be held this summer serving well over 50 youth. The camps, in addition to Harlan, will be held at Whitesburg and in Middlesboro.
Students taking part in the Harlan camp included: Aimee Bowling, Madison Colvin, Makayla Whitaker, Madison Owens, Miranda Skidmore, Kacee Bennett, Payton Bennett, Daesha Carr, Carlee Stephens, Jared Hawkins, Chelsey Caldwell, Madeline Haynes, Emersyn Noah, Casey Ledford, Lidia Cassim, Caleb Ashley, Krista Cress and Haley Hall.
Camp director Fields noted that the 2014 event was one of the best yet.
“Our students unquestionably enjoyed themselves during the three-day camp and learned much. Their eyes were opened wide to the many opportunities within the health care field,” said Fields. “I was proud of them for their hard work and attention shown during the camp. I am sure many from the group will one day enter the health care field.”
For additional information about AHEC and its program and offerings, contact Fields at 606-589-3009.