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Cody Students Consider Careers in Health Care

August 7, 2015
young woman practicing injection in simulated skin block
Kira Morgenweck, of Cody, gives an injection into simulated skin during the AHEC Health Care Careers Summer Camp at UW. (UW Photo)

Cody High School students Katie Miller and Kira Morgenweck have a pretty good idea that they want to someday work in the health care field.  

They were among students attending the Wyoming Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Health Care Careers Summer Camp at the University of Wyoming. Both learned about the requirements necessary to pursue health care careers as well as the numerous job opportunities that will be available throughout Wyoming upon completion of their training.

At the UW camp, the 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 would like to be a radiologist, I think that is a very interesting field, and I like to help people,” says Morgenweck. “This camp influenced me to go into this field even more.”

Miller says, “I hope to go into pre-med, but I'm not sure what I want to do for a job. I still know I want to work in health care, and the camp gave me more ideas as to what I would be good at.”

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.young woman shining light in practice mannequin's eyes

“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.

Both students praised the medical education program at UW and are considering attending the university.

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

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