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Yuma Hospital Camp Mentors Future Healthcare Workers

The future of healthcare is the focus of a unique camp at Yuma Regional Medical Center. The Volunteer Services Healthcare Career Exploration Camp prepares students for careers in medicine by taking them inside a working hospital. Maya Springhawk Robnett of the Arizona Science Desk reports.

In YRMC’s Operating Room, registered nurse Laura Moreno teaches students how to sterile scrub, gown, and glove up. The students race to prepare for surgery. “Your lady’s having a baby by herself!" Moreno teases them as they struggle with the gowns and gloves, "Come on! She’s delivering alone! She needs you!”

Selected students from Yuma County high schools as well as colleges and universities across the state take part in this annual program. Students participate in mock procedures and hear about pathways to medical careers.  “Really, the goal is to kind of grow our own—to look at so many of our student volunteers really interested in health careers but not really knowing the path,” says Elizabeth Hammonds, a Volunteer Services Officer at YRMC.

The students wrote 300-word essays on kindness and volunteerism to get into the program. 16-year-old Adeline Dunn of Gila Ridge High School says that drew her to the medical field: “Like, you don’t know what a smile can do for someone, especially here. They’re going through so much stuff that you have no idea about.”

YRMC’s Volunteer Camp is meant to give students the tools and knowledge they need to pursue a medical career. This year’s thirty students will leave the camp certified in CPR and able to take vital signs.