UW Summer Camp Sparks Students Interest in Health Care Profession

July 25, 2012
Student practicing on medical mannequin
Star Valley High School student Ashley Faber of Thayne practiced starting an IV on one of the University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences simulator arms. Forty high school students participated in the recent second Wyoming Area Health Education Center Healthcare Careers Summer Camp. (UW Photo)

Learning to start an IV and applying sutures were among hands-on projects for 40 Wyoming high school students participating in the recent second Wyoming Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Healthcare Careers Summer Camp at the University of Wyoming.

The students, representing 21 Wyoming communities, participated in the weeklong camp that provided them with an opportunity to explore numerous healthcare careers through interaction and observation. Students also learned about the requirements necessary to pursue a healthcare career as well as the numerous job opportunities that will be available throughout Wyoming upon completion of their training.

The underclassmen were exposed to careers in such fields as nursing, pharmacy, medicine, surgical technology, audiology, dental hygiene, radiography and ultrasonography. Activities took place on the UW campus, Laramie’s Ivinson Memorial Hospital and at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.

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

According to a recent report, 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 healthcare workers throughout Wyoming,” she adds.

During the recent healthcare camp, students explored a variety of healthcare careers and had opportunities to suture (with chicken breasts); practice starting IVs; make a cast; perform an ultrasound-guided “biopsy”; and operate a laparoscope, an instrument used to examine abdominal or pelvic organs.

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

For more information about the summer camp, call Easton at (307) 766-6751.

Students participating in the camp, listed by hometown, were:

Afton -- Rachel McArthur.

Alpine -- Miranda Schrieber.

Basin -- Quinton Migneault.

Cheyenne -- Katie Clark, Rebecca Lieske and Kelcey Ronning.

Douglas -- Sarah Jean Boyer and Brooke Marcus.

Evanston -- Sydney Jordan and Hailey Mazurkiewicz.

Green River -- Logan Fox, Taylor Orr and Zack Shoemaker.

Greybull -- Kara Michelena.

Guernsey -- Dakota Frederick.

Jackson -- Rosa Hernandez-Perez.

Lander -- Kamille Brough and Neil "Jordan" Harting.

Laramie -- Emma Fogel, Joanna Harris, Chris Huang, Ann McInroy and Dylan Ren.

Lovell -- Lauren Stewart.

Moorcroft -- Kendra Kanode.

Pinedale -- Dakota Cox, Hayden Fish and Taner Trujillo.

Powell -- Sarah Jean O’Neill.

Rawlins -- Alexandra Arment.                    

Rock Springs -- Hannah Bawden, Jeff Brown, Kelsi Bryan, Leslie McCormick and Courtney Ward.

Shell -- Bree Dooley.

Ten Sleep -- Sawyer Lyman.

Thayne-- Ashley Faber.

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