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Blinn summer camp introduces seventh and eighth graders to health science career options

Camp participants used Blinn’s start-of-the-art clinical simulation technology to learn basics of patient care

July 7, 2017

 
Seventh and eighth grade students participated in nursing, dental hygiene, emergency medical services, fire science, pharmacy technology, physical therapy assistance, radiologic technology, surgical technology, and veterinary technology simulations as part of Blinn College’s three-day Health Science Center Summer Camp held June 27-29 at Blinn’s Health Science Center Campus.

A&M Consolidated High School freshman Reed Harris is unsure of what he wants to be when he gets older, but after attending Blinn College’s fourth annual Health Science Center (HSC) Summer Camp, a health sciences career certainly is in the running.

Hosted by Blinn’s Division of Health Sciences, the three-day camp introduced Harris and seven other seventh and eighth graders to the variety of high-demand careers available in the healthcare industry.

“This camp was very exciting,” Harris said. “We received a basic overview of many different health careers by participating in hands-on activities instead of learning in a classroom. This camp has really made me consider going into the healthcare field now.”

Students and faculty from Blinn’s Associate Degree NursingDental HygieneEmergency Medical ServicesFire Science, Pharmacy Technician Program, Physical Therapist AssistantRadiologic TechnologySurgical Technology, and Veterinary Technology programs demonstrated the basics of each profession, from the equipment they use to the techniques necessary to ensure quality, compassionate patient care.

“Our goal for the HSC Summer Camp is to give each participant ideas about the career options healthcare has to offer,” said Sami Rahman, Director of Simulation and Clinical Labs. “Each day of camp featured demonstrations and simulations, and at the end of the three days, each student discovered something in healthcare they were passionate about.”

The camp was hosted at the Health Science Center Campus in Bryan, a 26,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility featuring the latest clinical simulation technology.

On the first day of camp, participants were introduced to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Fire Science programs. Students met with paramedics and fire department personnel, explored the equipment inside a working ambulance and fire truck, and learned about a variety of careers in both fields.

“We aim to introduce these students to the many different aspects of the healthcare profession at an early age, so we can begin cultivating future medical providers,” said Zack Varner, EMS Program Director. “Participants walk away from this camp with basic medical knowledge and skills they can use in their everyday lives.”

Students and faculty from the Radiologic Technology Program showed students how to conduct an x-ray, and the Veterinary Technology Program – accompanied by the program’s pet guinea pig, Pork Chop – gave an overview of what veterinary technicians do and demonstrated how to care for animals. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program showed students how important physical therapy is to the recovery process and demonstrated a variety of restorative exercises.

The Dental Hygiene Program spoke to students about dental care and maintenance and told students about the role dental hygienists play. Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program faculty and students taught camp participants to take blood pressure, conduct patient assessments, hear a variety of heart and lung sounds, and start an IV using a virtual IV system.

“We are here to show students what careers in healthcare are really like,” said Saylmi Terebl, a second-year Blinn ADN student. “If I had gotten this kind of exposure when I was younger, I would have had a better idea what career I wanted to pursue before attending college.”

New features to this year’s camp included the addition of Blinn’s Surgical Technology and Pharmacy Technician programs. Camp participants heard from Surgical Technology Program staff and students regarding the role of a surgical technologist – an integral part of a surgical care team who helps prepare for and assist during surgery. The Pharmacy Technician Program gave an overview of what pharmacy technicians do and assisted the students in filling prescriptions with candy “medication.”

Simulation Specialist Denise Guadagnino introduced students to simulation technology and demonstrated its use in the various healthcare fields. Students simulated patient care with Blinn’s high-fidelity mannequins, which allow students to perform CPR, take vitals, and interact with patients.

On the final day of the camp, students participated in a simulation featuring live “patients” who were guided through the entire treatment process, from emergency response to radiology and nursing, and finally physical therapy.

“We heard very positive feedback from the campers and their parents about this experience,” Rahman said. “One mother said it was all her daughter could talk about after coming home each day.”

Blinn’s Division of Health Sciences, based at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, offers associate degree nursing, dental hygiene, emergency medical services, fire science, health information technology, physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology, surgical technology, therapeutics manufacturing, and vocational nursing programs designed to quickly train students for high-demand professions.

For more information, visit: www.blinn.edu/twe/healthsciences.html.