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Mercyhurst camp lets teens explore health careers

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ask a teenager what comes to mind when they think of a career in healthcare, and you’ll likely get the same two responses: doctor or nurse.

Mercyhurst University’s School of Health Professions and Public Health with the Hamot Health Foundation are opening young minds to a much larger array of allied health careers through its annual Health Career Explorers Camp, June 15-19 and June 22-26.

At the camps, students receive their own set of scrubs and stethoscope while they are exposed to an intense week of clinical activities, field trips and sessions with working healthcare professionals. Activities include student-produced video newscasts on public health issues.

The newscasts debut at each camp’s graduation ceremony at noon to 1:15 p.m., July 19 and 26, at UPMC Hamot’s Heart and Vascular Institute, 120 E. Second St., Conference Rooms 2 & 3, 1st floor.

The annual summer camp has provided more than 450 culturally diverse teens hands-on experience in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical lab technology, respiratory therapy and emergency medical response training.

“Students love getting a behind-the-scenes look at so many exciting careers in healthcare today,” explains Linda Rhodes, Ph.D., founder of the camps. “They leave knowing that these rewarding careers are within their reach.”

Throughout the academic year students may also attend “Health Career Retreats” at the university geared toward activities to help them with their studies in high school and nurture their interest in a health care career. And they can join a Mercyhurst-sponsored Health Career Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club that in its short history has won state awards and sent students on to national HOSA finals.

For more information, contact Linda Rhodes, director of the Hirtzel Institute on Health Education and Aging, at 814-725-6310 or 717-919-4991.

2014 File Photo: Health Careers Camp