Students Get Hands-On Health Care Experience

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Middle school and high school students are getting an opportunity to test the water of medical professions this week at the third annual Health Career Camp at Fort Lewis College and around Durango. The event, coordinated by the Southwest Colorado Area Health Education Center, provides the 27 students a chance to learn about career opportunities in the health care field, said Kathleen McInnis, executive director of the education center.

“Our overall mission is to expand and improve the accessibility of health care by expanding and encouraging a diverse health care workforce,” McInnis said.

The students are exposed to the realities of the multitude of health care pathways they can pursue, and they get to practice the hands-on skills, said Jaime Fazzone, a fourth-year pharmacy student at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center and volunteer at the Health Career Camp.

“We’re hoping that these students can find some sort of interest in any type of the health care industry, whether it be pharmacy, nursing, medical – we had firefighters here as well, just some sort of interest to get them involved in health care,” Fazzone said.

On Wednesday, the students were given the chance to learn some of the basics of medical care before trying their hands at various tasks, such as suturing banana peels, giving shots to oranges, checking vital signs and bandaging wounds, she said.

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