Local youths taking part in Oswego Hospital’s MASH Camp learned how to suture like a surgeon and also tried their hand at compounding medicines using candy.
These skills were just a few of the many the campers, who will enter either the eighth or ninth grades this fall, experienced during the two-day camp designed to introduce healthcare careers to the youths.
Staff from the hospital’s pharmacy led the group on a behind-the-scenes tour of their department and demonstrated how they make intravenous solutions.
Then it was the student’s turn to compound medicines, crushing candy and mixing it with pudding to simulate the needed ointment base.
The students also filled a prescription using candy.
“We were able to provide the students with a little incite as to what steps a pharmacy follows in preparing medications,” said Pharmacist Sandy Obleman. “We also explained the differences between a hospital and a retail pharmacy.”
Rebekah Lubinga, of Fulton, said visiting the pharmacy was one of her favorite rotations during the camp. “It was fun mixing the candy to make a compound and learning how real medicines are made,” she said.
Another popular rotation was the simulated operating room where the students learned how to suture.
Physician Assistant Mary Ditzer told the students the roles of the various individuals that work in the Oswego Hospital Surgery Center, as well as the importance of safety and cleanliness in the department. One group of students also had a visit from Oswego Hospital Surgeon Aleksandr Sokolovsky, DO, who helped them perfect their suturing techniques.
“I enjoyed sharing my skills with the students and hopefully some of them will someday join the surgery center’s staff,” Dr. Sokolovsky said.
In addition to learning about the surgery center, the students took a tour of the hospital, spent time in both the laboratory and medical imaging departments and participated in an interactive first aide session.
“The staff looks forward to MASH Camp each year as it gives them the opportunity to showcase their careers and their passion for healthcare,” said Chief Nursing Officer Valerie Favata. “Like Dr. Sokolovsky, the nursing staff and other clinicians hope that the camp will pique their interest in healthcare and after earning a degree in the field, the students will join us here at the Oswego Health system.”
The camp is coordinated by the Central New York Area Health Education Center. CNYAHEC 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.