Mount Airy, NC – Sixteen area high school students received a week of healthcare career education and exploration last week. The students participated in the second round of the Camp Med 2023 summer program provided by Northern Regional Hospital and the Northwest Area Health Education Center (AHEC), an initiative of the Wake Forest School of Medicine. The first of two 2023 Camp Meds took place on June 5-9, 2023.
The program provided a range of unique educational experiences in the healthcare field, from meeting practitioners to seeing ultramodern technology, touring healthcare facilities, and learning about the services provided to patients, as well as presentations by the Surry County EMS, Surry County Sheriff’s Office, medical staff from Northern Regional Hospital, and others. Participants explored different medical career pathways, including surgical services, obstetrics, emergency medicine, and more and each obtained a CPR certification through the American Heart Association.
The Camp also included a tour of the Allied Health Programs at Surry Community College and activities to explore the healthcare certificates and nursing programs offered there as one of the Top 10 nursing programs in the state.
The June Camp Med participants were involved in the planning of the teen texting and driving mock scenario, and some returned to participate in the actual event, while the July camp participants were involved in the evaluation and de-briefing of the scenario. For their service projects, the June camp participants focused on the vaping problem in schools and the July group focused on the dangers of texting and driving. Both groups created a PSA video about their topics.
Jennifer Barrientos-Martinez, a Camp Med participant from Surry Early College High School, said, “Camp Med was an amazing experience and opportunity to learn more hands-on about healthcare and the reality of what goes on behind the scenes. Camp Med was a great resource to learn more about the variety of careers one hospital can offer. I believe the teen texting and driving mock accident scenario really taught me the level of seriousness distracted driving is. The scenario from a spectator point of view was emotional, seeing a mother in distress and the way victims were being evacuated through both a helicopter and ambulance was very impacting.”
“As we focus on our ‘Growing Our Own’ strategy, we realize that there are many students in our community interested in entering the medical field. Through Camp Med, we can provide these individuals some exposure and hands-on interaction to help them explore the many opportunities in healthcare here at Northern Regional Hospital,” said Tina Beasley, Manager of Volunteer Services at Northern Regional Hospital and one of the coordinators of Camp Med. “Our hopes and intentions with the camp are to expose students to a vast array of health careers in hopes that that they might discover they have a passion for a career they might not have even known existed before attending camp. We are grateful for our partnership with Northwest AHEC to make Camp Med happen.”
The July Camp Med participants were from across our area, including Isaac Libbert from Elkin High School; Hannah Khuri and Niya Smith from Mount Airy High School; Ragan Goad, Ava Joyce, and Cheyenne Rogers from Millennium Charter Academy; Amalyie Brown of North Stokes High School; Lexi Hurley from North Surry High School; Novella Nester of Patrick County High School in Virginia; Dayanna Flores-Armenta of Surry Central High School; Jennifer Barrientos-Martinez, Jessi Delacruz, Elisabeth Samples, Reagan Smiley, and Lola Suiter of Surry Early College High School; and Maggie Flippin of West Stokes High School.
Plans are for the summer camp to be held annually at Northern Regional Hospital.