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Douglas Student Explores Health Care Career Options

July 28, 2015
female student using light to check eyes of mannequin
Bailey Kane, of Douglas, takes the vital signs of a mannequin that simulates a patient during the recent Wyoming Area Health Education Center Health Care Careers Summer Camp at the University of Wyoming. She learned about the requirements necessary to pursue a health care career as well as the numerous job opportunities that will be available throughout Wyoming upon completion of her training. (UW Photo)

Douglas student Bailey Kane’s ambition for a career in health care was reinforced when she attended the recent Wyoming Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Health Care Careers Summer Camp at the University of Wyoming.

She learned about the requirements necessary to pursue a health care career as well as the numerous job opportunities that will be available throughout Wyoming upon completion of her training.

At the UW camp, the high school students were exposed to careers in such fields as nursing, pharmacy, medicine, surgical technology, speech-language pathology, optometry, dental hygiene, radiography and ultrasonography. Activities took place on the UW campus, Laramie’s Ivinson Memorial Hospital, Snowy Range Vision Center and at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne. More than 40 local health care workers volunteered their time to teach campers about their chosen professions.

“I am planning a career in the medical field because I truly enjoy the science side of medicine and all the amazing technology associated with the health care field,” Kane says. “This camp has reinforced my plans to enter the health care field, but changed my ideas of what I want to do within the field.”

Students had opportunities to suture (with chicken breasts); make medicated balm; make a cast; perform an ultrasound-guided “biopsy”; give injections (into simulated skins); and operate a laparoscope, an instrument used to examine abdominal or pelvic organs.

“Wyoming is facing a critical shortage of health care workers. Camp sponsors hope that opportunities like this will motivate students to consider pursuing health care careers,” says Marivern Easton, Wyoming AHEC program director and UW College of Health Sciences WWAMI medical education program assistant director. “The shortage will worsen as the baby boomer generation ages.”

Each Wyoming county is dealing with shortages in primary care and mental health, and many face shortages of dentists and other health care professionals. The key, Easton says, is to identify, recruit, train and retain Wyoming residents.

“If we can generate enthusiasm among high school-aged students and support them as they pursue education and training opportunities, we have a much stronger possibility of eventually employing them as health care workers throughout Wyoming,” she adds.

Kane says the camp demonstrated that UW offers a quality educational experience in health care.

“The camp was an amazing experience that anyone considering health care should do,” she says. “The activities were hands-on and gave you an actual feel for what duties are performed in various careers. Going to AHEC has been the best decision I have ever made.”

The camp is sponsored by the Wyoming AHEC, UW College of Health Sciences, WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) medical education program, Wyoming Office of Rural Health, Laramie County Community College, Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships, Snowy Range Vision Center and Ivinson Memorial Hospital.

For more information about the summer camp, call Easton at (307) 766-6751 or see www.uwyo.edu/ahec/health%20careers%20summer%20camp.html.


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Chad Baldwin

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