Teens to Explore Health Careers During Camp

Published 06.05.2006

Nursing & Health Sciences

During a three-day Health Careers Camp on the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus, 40 teens will convene for a hands-on preview of several career options in the health and medical field.

The camp, scheduled June 14-16, is offered jointly by the college and Susquehanna Health System to help students in their career search.

"The goal of the Health Careers Camp is to introduce high school students to the variety of health career programs that are available at Penn College and the potential employment opportunities that exist within Susquehanna Health System," said Nathan D. Smyth, coordinator of matriculation and retention for Penn College's School of Health Sciences.

During the camp, targeted for students entering grades nine to 12, participants stay in residence halls at Penn College. In the camp's first two days, they rotate through a series of hands-on workshops that explore the college's dental hygiene, health information technology, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, paramedic technology, physical fitness specialist, physician assistant, radiography and surgical technology academic majors.

Among the myriad activities, students learn to apply and remove casts, take and develop X-rays, and practice skills used by paramedics during cardiac arrest.

The camp's third day features a field trip to The Williamsport Hospital & Medical Center and Divine Providence Hospital, both members of Susquehanna Health System, where students observe the emergency room; care center; rehabilitation center; and radiology, dental, pathology and other laboratories. There, students are encouraged to ask questions.

The camp's conclusion includes a presentation for both parents and students regarding volunteer opportunities and financial aid offered through Susquehanna Health System, as well as information about Penn College majors.

"This year, the camp reached the 40-student capacity in late March, earlier than previous years," Smyth said. "I think word of mouth played as important of a role as did our advertising. When asked how they learned about the health camp, surprisingly, many parents received laudatory comments from other parents whose son or daughter attended last year."

Survey results of a recent Health Careers Camp indicated that all but one of those filling out a survey felt the camp spurred them to consider a career in health sciences, while one student was unsure of whether the camp had impacted his or her career choice. All of the students surveyed indicated they would be interested in someday working for Susquehanna Health System.

"I believe the success of this camp is due to our outstanding faculty, student helpers, and the professional staff at Susquehanna Health System who have historically worked hard to coordinate and plan exciting workshop activities and field experiences," Smyth said. "This, coupled with a registration fee of only $40, which covers meals, housing, and all camp activities, results in a tremendously rewarding and economical experience."

For more information about the Health Careers Camp at Penn College, visit online.