Camp Med exposes students to medical field

David Broyles

July 14, 2014

DOBSON — Surry Community College’s “Camp Med” wraped up its week Friday, offering students an opportunity to talk with health care professionals and tour Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The three-day camp, which began at Surry Community Wednesday, is designed for students primarily interested in the health field, according to Anne Marie Hardy, SCC Coordinator of Health, Wellness and Development. She said she has been involved with the program since 2006.

The three-day camp exposed participants to different aspects of the medical world from the workings of emergency medical services and nursing to different care units within a hospital setting. Hardy said it is made possible through the North Carolina Northwest Area Health Education Centers.

She said the camp has always been a “rubber meets the road” approach where medical professionals frankly share information about their jobs with students interested in medical careers. Hardy explained medicine is a profession where there is no “redo.” She agreed with program coordinator Emily Southern of Stokes County, that students are reminded first and foremost medicine is concerned about nothing less than people’s lives with many finding out the jobs have little resemblance to what’s seen in movies and television.

Hardy explained Camp Med participants have to go through an application process where they submit an essay as well as school transcripts. Grade level also plays into the process. Each application then goes to a selection committee who chose the students. She said resources limit the number of participants. This year, 30 were accepted with 24 participating.

“This is a competitive program,” Hardy said. “This remains a popular program with more applying than we can accept because of resources. In spite of rising (educational) costs, those interested seem to have a passion for medicine so funding doesn’t enter into the picture (at this level.) Many programs in medicine require two year degrees, so there is some savings there. Medical professions tend to pay well which helps in the decision too.”

This year, the camp opened with “Surry Day” at SCC’s Dobson campus with students from Mount Airy City Schools, Elkin, Stokes and Yadkin counties participating. Hardy said Surry County Schools holds its own Camp Med to allow more county students to benefit from the educational experiences offered. Wednesday, students got to tour the college’s nursing, physical therapy assisting and medical assisting departments as well as seeing an AirCare team land their helicopter on campus. Wendy Rash, Staff Flight Nurse AirCare Critical Care Transport talked with students about this profession.

Thursday the students traveled to Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital and got to “shadow” medical professionals in divisions they were interested in both at the hospital and the surrounding community.

“They really rolled out the red carpet for us at Hugh Chatham,” said Hardy. “They always pull out all the stops. The kids start out with few questions but come back after lunch excited, wanting to talk about what they have seen.” The week ended with a tour of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“The kids always seem to enjoy this (program). They always say they wish they could have stayed longer.”

David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.