06/24/04 — Hospital holds health careers summer camp

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Hospital holds health careers summer camp

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 24, 2004 1:57 PM

T'Sharra Williams, a 16-year-old rising senior at Southern Wayne High School, donned a blindfold to experience what it is like to be a patient who can't see.

She was fed her lunch by Ashley Rich, also a rising senior at Southern Wayne, during a role-playing exercise this week at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

The activity was part of the hospital's Health Careers Connection, a week-long virtual summer camp for high school students to research options in the health-care profession.

Two dozen Wayne County high school students participated in the fourth annual day camp, held last week and this week. Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors were chosen based on grades, an essay and teacher recommendations.

During the five days of the program, students were given lab coats and stethoscopes. They visited various departments in the hospital, shadowed hospital employees, learned to perform CPR and how blood type is determined. They also attended classes on essay writing and interviewing and learned what it was like to be a patient.

Students were given a situation for role play and a diet to follow. Scenarios ranged from being a pregnant patient who required bed rest, to one requiring a bland diet, to one being blind and having to be fed by another person.

T'Sharra said she has always been interested in health professions and wants to become a physical therapist.

"I think this was a real good experience for me to have," she said. "It has helped me a lot with making my decision about school and what I want to do."

She says she has several nurses in her family. But her biggest motivator for entering the profession is her 2-year-old daughter.

"I think this would be a real good way for me to make a living for her," she said.

Ashley is also motivated by her family. She says she used to watch a lot of doctor shows on TV and decided she wanted to become a registered nurse.

"I have wanted to help my grandparents," she says. "Instead of them running to the doctor all the time, by being a nurse, I can help them."

Krystina Walker, 14, a sophomore at Spring Creek High School, says she is interested in pediatrics and wants to become a doctor. She said the hospital's program provided her with a variety of options for her future.

"The more they showed me different things, it made me think more about what I wanted to do," she said.

Sandi Morrissey's job as workforce development director at the hospital is to recruit people to the nursing profession. She said some of the students in this year's summer program are an outgrowth of that effort.

"Most of them have some interest in health careers," she said. "Usually by the end of the week when we do the evaluations, there's interest in a health career.

"We're planting some seeds and trying to grow our own."