Camp introduces students to health careersSetting casts, checking vitals, resuscitation — it’s not your typical day at camp. But it’s exactly how a group of 21 high school students spent their time at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior.
Setting casts, checking vitals, resuscitation — it’s not your typical day at camp. But it’s exactly how a group of 21 high school students spent their time at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior.
The students attended the weeklong Health Careers Summer Camp, a first-of-its-kind camp in the region intended to introduce teenagers to the many opportunities in health-related fields. The camp was co-sponsored by Northwest Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) and WITC with the support of area health care agencies and educational institutions.
Along with classroom and lab time at WITC, the students took field trips to the College of St. Scholastica’s Exercise Physiology & Athletic Training program, UMD’s School of Pharmacy, Essentia Health and Dr. Robert Bukowski’s dental office in Superior. Dorm space for the overnight camp was provided by University of Wisconsin-Superior.
The hands-on educational camp allowed students to explore nursing, emergency services, mental health, massage therapy and medical assisting among other health care careers.
“Our students were eager and engaged and you could see them really respond to opportunities to try their hands at different skills,” said Patti Sweeney, RN, WITC Medical Assistant program director and camp director. “It was clearly an eye-opening experience about the possibilities for their futures.”
Students attending the camp came from Superior, Solon Springs, Barron, Baldwin, Cameron, Ladysmith, New Richmond and Shell Lake. They gained admission through a competitive application process.
“From dentistry to psychology and many things in between … the camp was really interesting and enjoyable,” said Megan Hamernik, a junior from Barron High School.
The Northwest Wisconsin AHEC project is one of 200 centers throughout the United States. It’s supported through federal and state funding, private foundation grants, service fees, and academic and community partners. The project’s mission is to improve access to quality health care in the region’s underserved communities by developing community-based health professions training programs and enhancing health education resources across the state.