Marian U.’s healthcare camp gives teens hands-on experience

The camp allows students to explore future health professions such as nursing, practicing physicians, scientific researchers, and exercise science specialists.

INDIANAPOLIS — Reya Dukes is a future senior at Pike High School and dreams of becoming a nurse. She loves how the human body works.

“I think it’s just intriguing, you know, how we can do all these things and perform all these tasks and why not know why,” Dukes said. “And you help people in the process, so that’s just cool.”

Dukes joined other central Indiana high school students this week at a healthcare camp at Marian University. The camp allows high school students to explore future health professions such as nursing, practicing physicians, scientific researchers, and exercise and sports science specialists.

Students gained hands-on experience in a hospital-like environment, with rooms that mimic doctors’ offices, an emergency room and more.

“I try to take the opportunity that’s given to me and run with it,” Dukes said.

On Thursday, the students watched a medical simulation of a patient in cardiac arrest.

“When I first saw it, I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s a lot!’ But it’s kind of neat to see, like, that’s what doctors have to deal with,” said Leon Baumer, a future senior at Noblesville High School.

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This is the second annual healthcare camp at Marian University.

“We presented to the Tom Wood Family Foundation two years ago because we were struggling to increase the number of diverse students, students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds in health professions, by especially our medical school and nursing school,” said Clint Whitson, associate dean of student affairs at Marian University. “We believe the pool of applicants we are trying to attract is too small, we want to so do our part to increase our own pool here locally.”

Whitson said that during camp, students never sit longer than 30 minutes.

“I was taking notes in every session I could,” Dukes said.

“It’s really cool to see different types of medical careers,” Baumer said. “Like I never knew there was an endocrinologist and the difference between an osteopathic path of medicine and an allopathic medicine. Like, I never thought of that.”

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Students were also able to learn clinical skills, such as tying broken bones or participating in basic sports medicine diagnostic exams.

“We’re learning more about asthma today and about mental health other days,” Dukes said. “They helped us learn more about suicide prevention because it’s a part of health care that needs to be talked about more. There are so many different aspects of health care that aren’t talked about, different areas that people don’t know about, so they were just going in depth with that.”

The camp runs until Friday.

“I’m a little sad that it’s coming to an end, but with this I can take the information I’ve learned and hopefully apply it to say, ‘OK, this is what I really want to do. ‘” Bauer said.

One day, these teenagers could be America’s future nurses and doctors.

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