22 students explore healthcare careers


Rome Memorial Hospital’s three-day Health Care Academy (HCA) program introduced 22 students from eight local schools to a broad array of healthcare careers, the hospital announced.

The academy, held at the hospital Wednesday to Friday and attended by students in grades 8-10, was sponsored by Rome Hospital Foundation and M&T Bank.

“The students had an opportunity to meet with healthcare workers from numerous departments throughout the hospital, talk about their jobs and see them in action in addition to participating in hands-on activities,” said Rome Memorial Hospital Director of Education, Volunteer Services and Employee Health Julie Chrysler. “We are eager to help these students become familiar with the broad range of opportunities that healthcare offers because there is a tremendous need for more people to choose these challenging and rewarding career fields.”

“When exploring careers, today’s young people are often faced with choosing between a high-tech environment and working with people,” Chrysler added. “Healthcare is unique because it offers the best of both worlds.”

Students with an interest in exploring a healthcare career took part in the interactive summer camp, the hospital said. Among participants:

Carli Charbonneau, Gabe Cihocki, Kiya Fruin, Aurianna Lastowski and Ireland Payne, eighth graders at Adirondack Central Schools; Kiera Burke, Adeline Houser and Kaitlyn McEwen, all ninth grade at Camden High School; Victoria Piccolo, Malory Poulin and Kara Woods, eighth graders at Camden Middle School; Dellon Hammers, an eighth grader at Oriskany Central School; Julianna Locke, eighth grade at Otto Shortell Middle School; Matthew Bates, Dah Hser, Miranda McCormick, Casey Podkowka and Georgianna Younglove, eighth graders at Strough Middle School; Morgan Brewer, a tenth grader at Vernon Verona Sherrill High School (VVS); and Grace Chrysler, Samantha Dee, Mary Muller, ninth graders at Westmoreland High School.

The students, dressed in scrubs, met with professionals in pharmacy, nursing, respiratory, speech and physical therapy, medical imaging, the laboratory and maternity. They also learned how to use a stethoscope, how to perform CPR and how to save a choking victim. Students spent their final day at the camp immersed in a mock motor vehicle accident, the hospital noted. They were able to follow a patient from the accident scene to an Amcare Ambulance and through the emergency department. Students also had the chance to see a Mercy Flight Central helicopter land and take a peek inside.

In addition to their hospital scrubs, each camper was given their own t-shirt, stethoscope, breakfast and lunch and a certificate of completion.

Brewer, a VVS tenth-grader, said “I really enjoyed the experience of HCA Camp....I was already thinking about becoming a paramedic, and this confirmed it.”

“Seeing the Mercy Flight (helicopter) was a highlight for me,” Brewer continued. “Now, I know that I am definitely going to become a paramedic and I will definitely look into becoming a flight paramedic.”

Brewer recommended the program to students who are considering their futures. “Being here helps you figure out if you want to work in healthcare and figure out what you want to do.”

For Fruin, an Adirondack Middle School eighth-grader, the HCA has helped point her to a possible career in orthopedics, the hospital said. “The camp has been a lot of fun,” she observed. “I always liked hospitals, and the staff here has been really nice and explained a lot of things to us.”

“Many of the 2018 graduates have expressed an interest in returning as a volunteer or to shadow an employee in a specific department,” Chrysler commented.

HCA Camp is one of several educational outreach programs at Rome Memorial Hospital. 

“Career exploration and education is an ongoing initiative at Rome Memorial Hospital,” explained Chrysler. “We partner with business, education and the community to support workforce development in our area and increase awareness of healthcare careers.”

Included in Rome Memorial Hospital’s career education programming:

• Madison-Oneida BOCES Professional Horizons and New Visions programs;

• College internships & student placements;

• Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Regional Program for Excellence;

• College Works with MVCC and ARC;

• Work-study programs with BOCES and Pathways, DDSO;

• Career fairs for middle and high school students;

• Mentoring and shadowing opportunities; and

• Volunteer opportunities that provide hands-on career exploration.

Chrysler praised the Rome Hospital Foundation and M&T Bank for their contributions to the camp’s success. “The exposure to the world of healthcare that the students received this week is invaluable,” she said. “However, without the funding we received through Rome Hospital Foundation and M&T Bank, none of this would have been possible.”


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