The high school students who participated in the June 11 - 13 health career camp did so because they are interested in someday pursuing a career in the health care field.
They, along with 80 other high school students, explored the health care industry through three-days of hands-on experiences and learning opportunities for all who attended.
Students attending from Monticello High School include Avery Gallegos, Alicia Gallegos and Lydia Chadwick.
Attending from Monument Valley High School was Kirsten Cly, Denishia Tsosie and Chelsea Nelson.
Brittany Bleak, from San Juan High School, also attended.
At the camp, participants were divided into six groups and rotated among 14 different workshops.
Some of the workshops featured health career skills where participants learned to suture, take blood pressures, intubate and maintain an airway, provide first-aid, proper patient transfer techniques, how to properly scrub in for surgery, proper wound care techniques and more.
In science labs, students looked at blood smears through microscopes, conducted chemistry experiments, learned how diseases are spread, made their own teeth impressions, dissected sheep eyes and sheep hearts, and learned about pharmacy by making their own chapstick.
Participants also had a human anatomy lesson, when they scrubbed into a mock operating room and had the opportunity to look at, discuss, and feel actual human organs.
Careers that were featured at the camp included, Respiratory Therapy, Nursing, Nurse Practitioner, Medical Technologist, Physician, Veterinarian, Dental Hygienist, Forensic Science, EMT, Pharmacist, and Dentist.
Colten Bracken, a current medical student at the Mayo Medical School, was the keynote speaker at the camp.
Colten, who grew up in rural Enterprise UT, stressed to the students that their career goals are all possible if they put forth the work and dedication required to achieve them.
Participants at the camp also took part in the SUU Challenge Course, where they learned teamwork and leadership skills. A dance and dinner at a local park were also highlights of the camp.
Because there is a strong need for health care workers in rural Utah, the goal for this camp is simple.
“This camp is specifically designed to give students from rural areas opportunities to learn about health care careers in a hands-on way that is not always available to them,” said Carrie Torgersen, coordinator of the camp.
After graduating from high school, students interested in health careers have the opportunity enroll in the Center’s Rural Health Scholars Program.
The program helps students become successful applicants to medical, dental, pharmacy and other graduate level health professions programs.
Over the past seven years since the program began, SUU has experienced higher than average acceptances in all health disciplines and received national recognition for the Rural Health Scholars.
For information about Utah Center for Rural Health programs, contact Dennis Moser or Rita Osborn at 435-865-8520 or visit www.suu.edu/ruralhealth.