Medical Camp Attracts Teens Interested in Medical Careers

July 14, 2016

A unique camp took place this summer in Northern Virginia that allows children hands-on experience and insight into a medical career. Each summer, while other kids are canoeing, horseback riding or singing songs around a campfire, a choice group of young students are extracting corneas, suturing wounds, and learning all about the medical profession through a hands-on medical camp at Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton, Va.
The camp, now in its ninth year, draws children from throughout the Mid-Atlantic and offers two levels of camp. It’s the perfect opportunity for students to see if a career in medicine is right for them and some, who participated in the camp in the past, are now in medical school, nursing school or exploring other healthcare professions.

Open to children 13-18 years of age, the camps offer hands-on activities in which students learn and practice skills essential to patient care, such as starting an IV, mixing medications, suturing wounds and more. Each camp lasts two days and takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Acceptance into the camp program is competitive with students applying from around the country.  This year’s group of students will be attending from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

First-time campers attend the Level 1 medical camp, learning skills like typing blood in the lab, how to intubate a patient, how to suture, starting an IV, mixing medications in the pharmacy, and seeing how X-rays are performed. Students will participate in a mock code in the emergency department, how to triage patients, take blood pressures, and harvest a cornea from a human eye. Students must be age 13 by June 28, 2016, to be eligible for the level 1 camp.

Level 2 medical camp activities include all of the following on the first day: applying a cast to their partner’s arm (and cutting the cast off using the cast saw), learn to place internal sutures and close skin incisions with staples, and how to extricate a patient from a vehicle using a cervical collar and backboard. On the second day, students will learn to do injections and blood draws, and precipitate their DNA from a cheek swab. Students must have participated in a level 1 camp in a prior year to be eligible for the level 2 camp.

The registration fee was raised to $75 this year, and the Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary provided some grant funding for the program.  

Students from Virginia, Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania attended this year.

To sign up to receive information about 2017 camps, go to:
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