Camp offers insight to medical careers

Students explore career options
Jun. 21, 2013 @ 01:59 PM

Davidson County Community College this week hosted high school students from across the area in a summer camp focused on potential careers in health care.

Returning to DCCC for its sixth year, Camp Med introduced 20 rising juniors in the Davidson County Schools system to a wide array of health care professions over the four-day summer camp.

Students broke up into small groups and spent an hour with various instructors and local professionals who offered first-hand insight into what life is like as a paramedic, fireman, nurse or medical translator.

"I think this is a great opportunity for people," said Ashley Hughes, a rising junior at East Davidson High School who wants to work in neonatal nursing. "Most kids don't get this opportunity. It blew my mind that this was really in Thomasville."

Susan Bryant, a nursing instructor at DCCC, said one of the goals focused on exposing students to what medical professionals face on a daily basis. Bryant introduced a group of students to three simulated patients facing varying challenges, including teen pregnancy, skin cancer and an infection caused by IV drug use. 

"The point of this is show them what it's like to be a nurse," Bryant said. "We want to make it relevant to what they are doing as high school students. We set up scenarios for possible things they might be interested in."

Camp Med is more than a classroom experience. Students are able to participate in hands-on exercises such as operating a fire hose or taking blood pressure with trained professionals standing by ready to answer any questions they may have.

"The fact that Camp Med is held here in Davidson County is unique," said Lucas Hughes, a East Davidson student who wants to either be a cardiothoracic surgeon or a pediatrician. "Its an opportunity for kids around the area to come and enjoy something they may want to do. I think it's a great opportunity for students who are looking toward the medical field. It shows them basics and it helps you plan for college."

Students spent Thursday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and wrapped up the camp Friday with a interview day. Students interested in the program submitted an application with an essay and had to be recommended for the camp by their school.

Camp Med mainly is funded through a grant from the Northwest Area Health Education Center. DCS, DCCC, Northwest Area Health Education Center of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and a part of the N.C. AHEC program collaborate and partner in the camp.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or