CARTHAGE Northern New York Rural Health Care Alliances fifth annual Medical Academy for Science and Health, or MASH, camp already has solidified what 14-year-old Bayleigh M. Lashway wants to do for a career.
The soon-to-be Carthage Middle School eighth-grader is certain she will become a nurse in a maternity unit of a hospital.
This is so cool, she said as she listened to a day-old babys heartbeat and belly sounds.
Having vigorously washed their hands for two minutes Tuesday before stepping into the nursery at Carthage Area Hospital, both Bayleigh and 13-year-old Caela J. Brandal also got to take the newborn girls temperature, observe her jaundice level and learn how to swaddle a baby.
Under the observation of licensed practical nurse Dawn M. Slawson and Sue Kennedy, interim nurse manager, the girls learned several other proper techniques for handling a newborn and assessing their health, and learned about various equipment in the hospitals labor and delivery rooms.
Bayleigh said she has spent a lot of time with babies, and wants to make a career out of it, while Caela said shed prefer to be involved in an operating room. Early Tuesday, the first of the girls three-day MASH camp experience, both Bayleigh and Caela witnessed a carpal tunnel surgery.
They showed us the nerve, Caela said. Tomorrow I get to go to physical therapy.
Sandy L. Hazen, alliance program manager, said the two girls will get to experience all areas of the hospital, including the emergency department, multiple therapy departments and skilled nursing, among others.
I think this really opens their eyes up, Mrs. Hazen said. We get a lot of friend referrals, and thats nice, because someone who attended has enjoyed it and told their friends.
She said the camp encompasses a curriculum base and is divided into three levels. The first is for first-year students who will explore careers in health care and receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification, while level 2 students will learn how to provide basic first aid and survival skills and to apply sciences to health problems. Level 3 students learn basic assessment skills and explore illness through case studies, mini lectures and diagnostic procedures.
This summer, 42 students from area schools are participating in the three-day camps, which also are offered at Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown; River Hospital, Alexandria Bay, and Lewis County General Hospital, Lowville.
This year was a little lower due to the Horizons program, the program Clarkson does for math and sciences, Mrs. Hazen said. Thats all summer long, also.
But what speaks for itself, she said, is the number of students who complete a MASH camp and either go on to the New Visions program or seek health-care job shadow experiences. Mrs. Hazen said data will be collected soon to track that information.
Its great they get to see each area and decide where they want to be, Mrs. Slawson said. Hands-on experience is the only way to decide.