Campers sample medical careers

John Irwin jirwin@therecordherald.com
Olalla Sanchez of Greencastle learned first hand how to take patients' vital signs during MedCamp at Penn State Mont Alto.

MONT ALTO — Students from across the area gathered at Penn State Mont Alto Monday morning to take part in a weeklong medical and health care program, commonly known as MedCamp.

The program, now in its 14th year, provides incoming ninth and 10th grade students with a firsthand look at potential careers in these specialized fields.

“We’re proud to offer this truly unique, hands-on medical camp which provides students with a wonderful opportunity to explore the endless career possibilities in the field of medicine,” said Helen McGarry, director of continuing education at Penn State Mont Alto.

To give students an immersive glimpse into the fields of nursing, oncology, neurology, radiology, emergency medicine, surgery, dentistry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and veterinary medicine, field trips to Penn State Hershey, Summit Health in Chambersburg, Wilson College and Shenandoah University have been planned.

“This program gives the students a look at a variety of fields,” said Debra Collins, director of public relations and marketing. “It’s very broad and has really gained popularity over the years. I would estimate we have had over 350 students go through the program so far.”

Hannah Wagner, of Waynesboro, and Olalla Sanchez, of Greencastle, were among the class of over 30 students this year in attendance.

“My mom is a nurse and my dad is a firefighter; I guess helping people runs in my family,” Wagner said, an incoming freshman at the Waynesboro Area Senior High School. “From this camp, I’m looking to get a better understanding of nursing and to learn about the basics for my future career.”

Wagner and Sanchez both have aspirations to work as an emergency room nurse or in pediatrics.

“I’m really looking into the medical field, specifically the emergency room,” explained Sanchez, an incoming freshman at Greencastle-Antrim High School. “So far I like the nursing program. I’ve loved it, it’s been great. Everyone is very nice and educated in their fields.”

For more information or to inquire about next year's program, contact Debra Collins at 717-749-6112 or at dlc43@psu.edu.

Contact John Irwin at jirwin@therecordherald.com or at 717-762-2151.