Rome Memorial Hospital’s three-day Health Care Academy (HCA) program introduced 21 campers from eight different schools to a broad array of health care careers.
Sponsored by Rome Hospital Foundation and M&T Bank, the Health Care Academy was held at the hospital July 31 through Aug. 2.
“The students had an opportunity to meet with health care 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 health care 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 said. “Health care is unique because it offers the best of both worlds.”
Area students with an interest in exploring a health care career, attended the interactive summer camp. Participants included:
Emma Flansburg, Mackenzie Grogg, Sienna Snyder, and Kaylee Yelton, eighth graders at Adirondack Central Schools; Pippa de Jong and Kira Pegues, ninth graders at Adirondack Central Schools; Dylan Piersall, a ninth grader at Camden High School; Nadia Foley, Pazia Grocholski and Camrynn Howard eighth graders at Holland Patent Middle School; Matthew DePerno, Stephanie Grocholski and Jonathan Zylinsky, ninth graders at Holland Patent High School; Sydney Hight, a ninth grader at Oriskany High School; Maranda Jeannotte and Gabriella Vanvorst ninth graders at Rome Free Academy; Allen Brown, an eighth grader at Sauquoit Valley Middle School; Jhanelle Kirk and Nicolina Lokker , eighth graders at Strough Middle School; Devyn Balfe a ninth grader at Vernon Verona Sherrill High School and Connor Hahn an eighth grade student at Whitesboro Middle School.
The students, dressed in their 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. 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.
For Stephanie Grocholski, a ninth grader from Holland Patent High School, the HCA program was an eye-opening experience.
“I think it’s a very good program and there’s so much to learn here,” she said. “When I found out that there is a lab here and seeing all of the other areas we visited, I know that there are so many careers that are possible in the medical field.”
Grocholski said she would recommend the program to students who are considering a career in medicine.
“It’s very fun and you can find a bunch of different areas and learn about them," she said.
For Gabriella Vanvorst, a ninth grade student at Rome Free Academy, the HCA has helped point her to a possible career in obstetrics.
“The camp is awesome, it’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Vanvorst said. “I really liked going up to the maternity department and I can see myself being an OB (doctor) or working with trauma patients.”
“The hospital staff has been super nice and welcoming,” she added. “They take the time to explain things to us in different ways so they make sense and I’m amazed by all of the different aspects that go into making the hospital what it is.”
“Many of the 2019 graduates have expressed an interest in returning as a volunteer or to shadow an employee in a specific department,” Chrysler noted.
HCA Camp is only one of many 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 health care careers.”
Rome Memorial Hospital’s career education programming includes:
Madison-Oneida BOCES Professional Horizons and New Visions programs
College internships and 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
Volunteer opportunities that provide hands-on career exploration
Chrysler also praised two organizations for their contributions to the success of the camp.
“The exposure to the world of health care 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.”