Scrubs Camp gives students hands-on healthcare experience
The healthcare field is all about options, but not all of the relevant career pathways are necessarily on the minds of high school students. A new event piloted this year aims to change that by providing incoming 10th grade students with access to explore a variety of health-related careers through hands-on activities and learning.
The first Scrubs Camp was held July 25 at the Career Education Center in Camarillo. The daylong camp was organized by John Bone Cordova, Deputy Health Sector Navigator and Irene Ornelas, Health Industry Liasion at Ventura County Office Education, VC Innovates.
Upon arriving at CEC, about 60 students donned their T-shirt “uniforms” and participated in a mock car accident. The simulation was designed to show how a victim progresses from EMT to trauma nurse to doctors and other specialists — and how every one of those individuals works together to provide the best possible care for the patient.
“We wanted to show that health professions are more than just doctors and explore different disciplines and levels of care that touch patients before and after a trauma occurs,” Cordova said.
Following the accident simulation, students broke into smaller groups and participated in smaller discussions about careers in nursing, medical assistant, dental, EMS-related fields. Participants were also provided tools of the trade such as stethoscopes, bandages, and other equipment to make the event a hands-on experience.
A female Scrubs Camp participant said she enjoyed seeing all of the different personnel interact and learning about careers she had not previously considered.
“The simulation day definitely broadened my interests,” she said. “I had never considered being an EMT before and I loved how passionate the EMTs and paramedics were.”
Cordova said early high school is the perfect time for students to begin exploring career options in order to determine what type of degree or certificate they want to pursue after high school. Community colleges throughout the South Central Coast region offer programs that prepare students for all of the careers covered at Scrubs Camp, plus many more.
Industry partners who participated in the event said they enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the students.
“It is this type of event that allows the resources within our county to come together and do what we do best,” said Dan Wall, Manger of the Emergency Preparedness Office at the Ventura County Public Health Department.
Cordova said next year’s event will likely expand to include medical records and other healthcare careers. Plans are also in the works to create an event to promote emergency services careers to young women in an effort to resolve gender disparity in that field.
“One of the things that came out of this event from the industry side is that I was approached by the males about hosting women in emergency services event to bring more women into the field,” Cordova said.
Ornelas said that no matter how busy they are, organizations are always excited to show students the future that a career in healthcare can offer them.
“Industry professionals and educators are eager to collaborate and engage in opportunities, such as the Scrubs Camp, because they know they can make a positive difference in a young person’s education,” she said. “They are excited about participating in these events not only because they want to promote their industry but they want to invest in their community; this is a perfect opportunity to do both.”