LC Health Sciences camp ignites interest in medical field

One never knows when inspiration for their future career will strike. It could be a strong role model, an unforgettable experience or an innate feeling to help others. No matter which one, that inspiration always leads to a noble profession, which is why LC hopes to spark the interest and passion of a new generation of healthcare workers.

Starting on Monday, June 11, Laredo College hosted a weeklong Health Science Summer Camp that invited middle school students to explore the programs offered and experience the world of health care alongside LC students.

The campers had a chance to get hands-on demonstrations of the equipment and technology used during their rotating activities. They also had a chance to ask questions to LC’s faculty and students regarding specific programs.

For example, the Diagnostic Medical Sonography activity provided campers the opportunity to learn about the location, structure and function of the different internal organs by scanning mannequins. Campers also had opportunities to participate in similar activities as they visited with each program such as CPR, monitoring vital signs, and learn about nutrition to name a few.

“It’s super fun and I’m excited to learn new things because I look forward to working in the medical field,” local middle school student G. Lozano said. Lozano and her group were learning about proper back posture from the LC Physical Therapy Assistant students and how to avoid hurting one’s back when dealing with heavy backpacks.

According to Medical Assistant Program Director and Assistant Professor Graciela Y. Gonzales, the idea for hosting a health sciences camp was brought up around two years ago amongst the health sciences division program directors. The focus of the camp was to encourage middle school students to learn more about the medical field with hands-on demonstrations tailored for their age.

“By exposing them this early to the high-demand fields, with hope of them visiting us year after year, they’ll remember their experience with a specific program and say, ‘I really liked MA or PTA’ and graduate into that field,” Gonzales said.

Students and faculty within the Emergency Medical Services, Medical Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiologic Technology, Sonography and Nursing programs organized distinct activities for the campers to enjoy and learn alongside each other.

Mirroring the excitement for the camp, B. Villarreal of Elias Herrera Middle School said, “I’m excited, it’s fun and it is incredible we get the opportunity to have a college like this in our city and get to learn about the medical field so in the future we get to dedicate ourselves to it.”

Gonzales highlighted that the camp was not just an excellent opportunity for middle school students interested in the health field, but also for LC students to practice their soft skills.

“They are practicing those soft skills they develop here. Communication and scheduling skills within the pediatric population is a unique experience that complements practice with patient education,” she said. “Even if they are not patients, it’s still the same information that is disseminated when they are speaking with patients about nutrition, cardiology and more.”