It's the question every student will hear as they head back to school — "What did you do over summer vacation?" For a select group of students in Iredell-Statesville Schools, the answer will include getting new perspective on what it takes to work in healthcare. Those students took part in Camp Med, a week-long program for teens who are interested in careers in medicine.
Seventeen campers from CCTL Early College, North Iredell High School, Agriculture and Science Early College (ASEC), Crossroads Early College and West Iredell High School were chosen from a pool of applicants to spend five days at the camp in June. Wearing white coats and stethoscopes, the teens interacted with staff at Iredell Memorial Hospital and got a firsthand look at how things work in the laboratory, the Iredell Heart & Vascular Center, the emergency department and several other areas.
Some highlights for the teens included hands-on experiences, like looking at their own veins using a machine that makes them visible beneath the skin. They also spent at a day doing team- building exercises at Stumpy Creek Park and went on a tour of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the School of Medicine. At Iredell Memorial, the students had a chance to experience a bit of what it's like to work in a hospital setting — an opportunity many say gave them a better glimpse into their own futures.
Here's what some of the campers had to say about their time at Camp Med:
Sarah Patterson, ASEC, Senior
Career Goal: Forensic Pathology
"I like learning how the body works. Here, I've been able to see a lot of things I've only seen on television."
Erica Miller, ASEC, Sophomore
Career Goal: Nursing
"I've seen the impact nurses have on people, and I want to be that good nurse who makes a positive impact. I've enjoyed learning about different professions at the hospital and getting to talk to people in those professions."
Heather Eng, CCTL, Sophomore
Career Goal: Gastroenterologist
"My whole life I've known I've wanted to be a doctor, following in the steps of my sister who's a PA and my other sister who is a neuroscientist. At the camp, I have enjoyed how welcoming the people are and how they sometimes make jokes and keep it entertaining. I also enjoyed the team building exercise and getting to know the other campers."
Angie Vasquez, West Iredell High School, Senior
Career Goal: Midwife
"I recently starting worked at a birthing clinic and I like the environment. I like how the midwives are not on the sidelines. They make a big difference when they are helping patients give birth. At camp, I like how we met with people who work with each department, getting deep insights from the people who are there every day. They answer all of your questions."
LeeAnne Sipes, West Iredell High School, Sophomore
Career Goal: Pediatrics
"I just love babies and babies love me. The camp is really interesting. I've learned a lot I didn't know before. I knew about dialysis but I didn't know exactly how it worked so that was interesting to learn. I really like learning about the emergency room and I could maybe get into that."
Iredell-Statesville Schools students can apply for Camp Med every year. For more information, including Camp Med locations, contact Joanie Winterkamp at firstname.lastname@example.org.