Students Explore Medical Field at Mercyhurst Camp - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Students Explore Medical Field at Mercyhurst Camp

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For Jhamarrea Hansbrew, working in the medical field has always been a dream.

"I've always wanted to work in the medical field,” she said. “I used to dress up as a doctor as a child."

Now she and nearly 50 other area teenagers will get the chance to live their dream as they participate in the Health Career Explorers Camp at Mercyhurst-North East this week. The 7th annual camp exposes these students to the real world of medicine through clinical activities, and experience for themselves what it's like to be a physician.

"They get to practice all of these different careers. They can practice being a paramedic, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, and medical lab technologist, and nursing,” said Linda Rhodes, Ph. D., camp founder.

On Monday, they learned what it's like to use a wheelchair and participated in a number of physical activities, including jumping jacks, push-ups, dips, and other exercises. Rhodes hopes their medical careers extend beyond the camp.

"We teach them that this is in their reach,” Rhodes said. “A lot of these careers have career ladders to it, so in two years you can be out working and while you're working, you can take courses at night and keep on moving up that career ladder."

The camp not only gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience, but it also allows them to see the other side of medicine that they may not expect.

"This camp makes you really think about what people have to live with,” said Joshua Keyes, a student attending the camp. “They go deeper into the facts about the stuff people have to deal with."

"It helps you decide what career you want, what path you want to take,” said Hansbrew. “It prepares you for some of the things you want to do just in case you don't fully understand the concept of certain things."

The camp continues throughout the week before resuming next week.

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