Fauquier Health holds medical camps for students

Fauquier Hospital staff promotes healthcare professions

Zuzu Park finds that healthcare can be exciting, during a session on intubation at Fauquier Health’s Medical Camp. Courtesy photo

Fauquier Health is celebrating its tenth year of offering summer Medical Camps by allowing participants in its Level 2 camp to perform a simulated laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery. “It’s very realistic,” said camp coordinator Julie Fainter. “The students get a real feel for what surgery might be like.”

Fauquier Health’s Medical Camps allow children hands-on experience and insight into possible medical careers, drawing children from around the East Coast. Some, who participated in the camp in the past, are now in medical school, nursing school or exploring other healthcare professions.

Open to children 13-18 years of age, the camps offer two levels of hands-on activities in which students learn and practice skills essential to patient care, such as starting an IV, mixing medications, suturing wounds and more.

Acceptance into the camp program is competitive. This year’s group of students will be attending from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Connecticut. One session has already been held. Remaining Level 1 dates are June 27-28. Level 2 dates are July 11-12 and July 18-19.

First-time campers attend the Level 1 medical camp, learning skills like typing blood in the lab, how to intubate a patient, how to suture, starting an IV, mixing medications in the pharmacy, and seeing how X-rays are performed. Students participate in a mock code in the emergency department, learn how to triage patients, take blood pressures and harvest a cornea from a human eye.

Level 2 medical camp activities include all of the following on the first day: applying a cast to a partner’s arm (and cutting the cast off using the cast saw); placing internal sutures and closing skin incisions with staples, and extricating a patient from a vehicle using a cervical collar and backboard. On the second day, students will learn to do injections and blood draws, precipitate their DNA from a cheek swab and perform the gallbladder removal surgery. Students must have participated in a Level 1 camp in a prior year to be eligible for the Level 2 camp.

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