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Blinn Health Sciences Summer Camp introduces students to health science career options

Local 7th and 8th graders used Blinn's state-of-the-art clinical simulation labs to learn about real-world emergency scenarios

Local 7th and 8th graders used Blinn's state-of-the-art clinical simulation labs to learn about real-world emergency scenarios

July 1, 2021

As paramedics wheeled in a bicycle accident victim, 13-year-old Zachary Gray carefully maneuvered a portable x-ray to capture images of his patient’s injuries. Assisting the Radiologic Technology Program in an emergency room simulation was just one of the activities Gray enjoyed during the Blinn College District’s sixth annual Health Sciences Summer Camp.

“I like that you get your own picture of whatever part of the body you need to look at,” Gray said. “You can see exactly how its broken, exactly where its broken, and I think that is just very cool.”

Offered for the first time at the RELLIS Campus, the three-day camp introduced Gray and 17 other local 7th and 8th graders to a wide variety of high-demand careers in various fields of the health sciences.

Students and faculty from Blinn’s Associate Degree Nursing (ADN), Dental Hygiene, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Fire Science, Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), Radiologic Technology, Surgical 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.

“The goal of the camp was to let the campers experience the different areas of allied health. We wanted them to get to see the different avenues that Blinn offers and get their interests sparked,” said Debra Allbritton, Clinical Coordinator for the Radiologic Technology Program. “This also is a great opportunity for our currently enrolled students because it allows them to put into practice the skills they have learned and teach someone else, which reinforces their learning.”

The camp was hosted at the RELLIS Academic Alliance Complex on the RELLIS Campus in Bryan. This facility includes 16,000 square feet of space dedicated to clinical simulation laboratories featuring the latest technologies.

On the first day of the camp, participants received an overview of the Veterinary Technology, EMS, and ADN programs. Students learned what veterinary technicians do and even simulated performing CPR on a dog. Campers also explored the equipment inside a working ambulance with EMS and learned important lifesaving skills. ADN 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.

“As a nursing student, it is actually helpful to teach,” said Alexis Copley, an ADN student. “Working with the campers has been a learning experience for us, teaching us to apply our knowledge.”

On day two, campers “scrubbed in” with Surgical Technology Program faculty and students to get a first-hand look at the vital role surgical technologists play in preparing and assisting during surgeries. Students and faculty from the Dental Hygiene Program spoke about the importance of dental care and maintenance and explained the role dental hygienists play. The Radiologic Technology Program assisted students in conducting x-rays using state-of-the-art equipment, even giving participants a glimpse inside their own smartphones. The PTA Program showed campers how important physical therapy is to the recovery process and demonstrated a variety of restorative exercises.

Throughout the camp, students were introduced to the simulation technology used in various healthcare fields, including Blinn’s high-fidelity simulators.

On the final day, students first met with the Fire Science Program and explored a working fire truck. The camp culminated in a simulation event featuring live “patients” simulating real-world emergency scenarios. Campers shadowed Blinn faculty and students as they were guided through the entire treatment process, from emergency response to radiology and nursing to physical therapy.

“I was not expecting so much real equipment,” Gray said. “It is basically like a hospital. You could house a patient here.”

Blinn’s Division of Health Sciences offers Associate Degree Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, Health Information Technology, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiologic Technology, Surgical Technology, and Vocational Nursing programs designed to place graduates on the fast track to rewarding healthcare careers.

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