OSWEGO, NY – Young teens from across Oswego County came to Oswego Hospital to learn about careers in the health care field during Oswego Hospital’s MASH (Medical Academy of Science and Health) Camp.
The camp, held Aug. 1 and 2, allowed 16 students to get an insider’s look into various healthcare careers and gave them hands-on experience in different hospital departments.
Each lesson showed the different technologies and techniques medical professionals use each day.
Lorrie Galletta, RN, gave a demonstration on basic first aid and provided the students with their own first aid kits. She taught lessons on how to treat burns, bee stings and other incidents that require basic first aid.
At the surgery center, students tried their hand at suturing using a piece of foam. They also learned the proper techniques and procedures taken to protect patients from infection during a surgical procedure.
The pharmacy gave a lesson on the different types of medicine and how they’re made. As a part of that lesson, the students counted and mashed candies to simulate how prescriptions are filled.
On the first day students took cultures of their hands before and after using hand sanitizer.
Then, on the second day, they returned to the lab to see the results. Many of the students were surprised at the amount of bacteria that was on their hands before they were sanitized.
They were also shown what strep and other bacteria look like in a microscope.
Oswego Health’s Chief Nursing Officer Valerie Favata said Oswego Hospital hosts the event to promote healthcare careers.
“We want to expose the younger generation to career opportunities in healthcare and to show them it’s more than nurses and doctors,” she said. “I’m pleased to say the staff are really engaged and enjoyed this opportunity to share their careers with the kids.”
The camp takes about six months to plan, develop schedules and prepare activities that follow a strict timeline.
The hospital must coordinate with outside agencies such as the Oswego Fire Department, who also participates in the event.
This year, the camp was organized by Oswego Health Administrative Assistant Dawn Smith.
Earlier in the year, the Central New York Area Health Education Center CNYAHEC hosted a luncheon where camp organizers brainstormed for the event.
Favata said they’re always looking for new ideas to make the two-day camp a fun learning experience.
The camp is coordinated by CNYAHEC, which is a non-profit health workforce development organization located in Cortland that serves 14 counties in central New York including Oswego County.
Program sponsors include Oswego Health, CNYAHEC and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.