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UCPS students explore healthcare professions

Billy Carnes, a nurse educator with CMC-Union, demonstrates the same technology that is used to train current healthcare professionals during the 2012 Summer Health Careers Camp, the first one ever offered to UCPS students.

Written by: Courtney Wright
UCPS Communications Intern

Thanks to a local grant, 14 Union County Public Schools students had an opportunity to get a jump-start on choosing a healthcare profession.

The $1,500 grant, provided by Charlotte’s Area Health Education Center (AHEC), was awarded to UCPS Career and Technical Education (CTE) students to fund the 2012 Summer Health Careers Camp, the first one ever offered to UCPS students.

During the camp, students were provided with early exposure to local healthcare education facilities at South Piedmont Community College (SPCC), Central Academy of Technology and Arts (CATA) and at Carolina Medical Center-Union (CMC-Union).

Linda Smith, a Job Broker and CTE Coordinator, said the experience was important because it could help students make wise decisions in high school and college, regarding their future careers.

“We are helping students who are interested in health careers go a little bit further in their endeavors to make wise choices, not only in high school, but also in choosing their courses in college,” Smith said. “The mission of the Area Health Education Center is to help students across our region learn more about those health careers and make those choices early enough so they can get into the right schools and do the right things.”

Pam Lanier, a health occupations teacher at Forest Hills High School, said the camp not only introduced students to various heath care facilities, but it also allowed them to “shadow professionals and to see what those professionals do on a daily basis.”

Several of the students attending expressed an interest in becoming a doctor, while others spoke of becoming a nurse, a paramedic, an anesthesiologist and a genetic engineer.

Sun Valley High School junior Eli Brooks, 16, hopes to become a genetic engineer, but said he’s keeping his options open. “I hope to see other careers that might interest me. Nothing is set in stone about being a genetic engineer. [These camps] help students expand their vision.”

Students also had the opportunity to experience hands-on training in simulation labs and talk with current healthcare professionals at CMC-Union. The simulations allowed students to engage with the same technology that is used to train current healthcare professionals.

The camp concluded with a Heart Saver Class, in which each of the students became CPR certified through the American Heart Association. The class was taught by the camp organizers -- health occupation teachers Pam Lanier of Forest Hills High School and Amanda Hyatt from Sun Valley High School.

The camp’s students came from Forest Hills, Marvin Ridge, Monroe, Parkwood, Sun Valley and Weddington High Schools. The camp, offered to rising 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders, was held from July 9, 2012, to July 12, 2012.

Written by: Courtney Wright, UCPS Communications Intern
Posted: Jul 20, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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