“Incredible,” “awesome” and “amazing” were words repeated among school-aged students as they interacted with medical professionals through engaging, real-life scenarios at Camp Med 2018. For the 15th consecutive year, NOVA and the Virginia Hospital Center have partnered to offer Camp Med, a widely popular week-long summer program for local students interested in healthcare.
The two camp weeks—July 23-27 is hosted for rising 6th and 7th graders, and July 30 – Aug. 3 is for rising 8th and 9th graders, with both weeks limited to 24 campers. The camps normally fill up within the first few hours that registration is open. Participants spend a full day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington; and Wednesday at NOVA’s Medical Education Campus in Springfield.
At NOVA, campers participated in a Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) simulation. During the mock crime scene, campers learned about medical terminology and operational skills related to police-forensics, emergency medical services, nursing, medical laboratory technology, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy and radiography. Each camper also learned how to effectively conduct health-related research from scholarly sources to discover possible cures as well as safety precautions. To add a twist to the researching process, students found a vaccine to cure infectious blood borne pathogens related to a zombie apocalypse.
Bethany Tobin and Lissy March, two- second year occupational therapy assistant students (OTA) also introduced campers to their own field of study with several interactive activities and offered insight on their personal experiences as a NOVA student.
“Many of the campers were surprised to learn the responsibilities of an occupational therapy assistant and how they actually help people,” Tobin said. “Lissy and I set-up different activity stations for the students to learn about mobility, creative rehabilitative methods and the mental health aspect of occupational therapy. Our goal was for each child to understand that although using therapy tools may appear to be fun, they are purposeful for people with developmental impairments.”
“This was a great opportunity to raise awareness and introduce young children to a variety of options related to the medical field,” March said. “I enrolled in the OTA program because I wanted to help people become as independent as possible. As a student myself, it’s inspiring to share my experiences with young children to assist them in understanding that many healthcare professions are the perfect fusion of psychology, education and medicine.”
At Virginia Hospital Center, campers rotate through the pulmonary and cardiac catheterization labs, ER, pharmacy, radiology, rehabilitation and medical diagnostics areas. A closing ceremony is also held for young students to formally present their experiences with family and friends.
All inquiries for Camp Med 2019 should be directed online, keyword: Camp Med.