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Scrubs Camp Introduces High Schoolers to Career Possibilities in Health Care

For students in grades 9-12 throughout Minnesota, getting a sneak peek at a future career in health care is as easy as signing up for scrubs camp, thanks to St. Paul College. As one of four programs offered by this community & technical college, high schoolers spend four days gaining a greater understanding of the various career paths within the health care industry through courses and a field trip. This year, PHS was there to give students a better look at the world of home care.

Hands-on experience with medical supplies

One of the most surprising parts of home care can be understanding just how complex the patients are. With such an abundance of equipment and supplies patients require for medical care, giving students the opportunity to have a better understanding of everything from a g-tube to a vent highlights the challenges and rewards caregivers encounter in home care.

students practice inserting an IV into a prosthetic armOne course led by PHS nurse training supervisor Becca Pasch and two home care nurse trainers gave attendees the chance to work hands on with a variety of equipment and supplies, rotating through enteral feeding supplies, MIC-KEY buttons, tracheostomy supplies, oximeters, ventilators, suction machines, and more.

“We were able to interact with nearly all of the 96 students that attended camp,” says Becca. “This is the first time they brought in home care, and I’m thrilled we were able to be there to show them firsthand, however briefly, what types of tasks a nurse or respiratory therapist might encounter in this care setting.”

Non-medical roles in health care

Elizabeth sets up her presentation on healthcare careers in HR

While clinical roles might be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a career in health care, behind every caregiver is also a team of support staff who help the circle of care. PHS human resources generalist Elizabeth Johnson gave students an overview of what types of roles and duties you might see in health care HR and had them role play interview scenarios and training opportunities as well as dive deeper into how payroll is calculated (because it can sometimes be shocking to see where money goes before it ends up in your bank account).

“I think it’s really valuable for students to understand that they don’t have to pursue a medical degree to be in the health care world,” said Elizabeth. “There are so many other avenues they can consider, from human resources and marketing to IT or regulatory. Hopefully by taking this course, they started to recognize the wide range of opportunities available to them in this field.”

Addressing a national shortage

students listen to instructors at scrubs camp at St. Paul CollegeIn a field that is facing a caregiver shortage on a national scale, introducing high schoolers to the possibilities in health care is an opportunity with long-term benefits for both the industry and the student. Graduates going on to college or another institution may now have a clearer vision for their future, and can begin building relationships with contacts at colleges that offer degrees related to their interest.

With affordable options like Scrubs Camp and partnerships between health care companies and colleges, more students can be exposed to where their career passions might lie – and PHS continues to build those close relationships with that focus in mind.

Originally published: September 8, 2017