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Teens Scrub Up, Prep For Surgery At Yuma Health Care Camp

High school students
(Photo by Maya Springhawk Robnett - KAWC)
High school students learn to sterile glove up in a new program aimed at getting kids interested in health care careers.

The future of healthcare is the focus of a unique camp at Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC). The Volunteer Services Healthcare Career Exploration Camp prepares students for careers in medicine by taking them inside a working hospital.

In YRMC’s Operating Room, registered nurse Laura Moreno teaches students how to sterile scrub, gown and glove up.

“This is hard!” exclaim the students, who are racing around, "prepping" for surgery.

“Your lady’s having a baby by herself! Come on! She’s delivering alone! She needs you!” Moreno teases them as they struggled with the gowns and gloves.

RELATED: UA Pharmacy Camp Introduces Arizona Kids To Health Careers

Select 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," said Elizabeth Hammonds, a volunteer services officer at YRMC.

The students wrote 300-word essays on kindness and volunteerism to get into the program. Adeline Dunn, 16, of Gila Ridge High School said that drew her to the medical field.

“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,” she said.

YRMC’s volunteer camp is meant to give students the tools and knowledge they need to pursue a medical career. This year’s 30 students will leave the camp certified in CPR and able to take vital signs.

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Maya Springhawk Robnett joined the Arizona Science Desk in May 2016.Springhawk Robnett grew up in the Southwest and began attending Arizona Western College in Yuma at the age of 14. At 17, she graduated with her associate's degree in studio art.From May 2012 to September 2014, she worked part time at KAWC as a reporter while pursuing her degree in mass communication and media studies at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Springhawk Robnett’s coverage included a diverse range of topics, from mixed martial arts in Yuma to the Arizona foster care system. She also produced KAWC’s "Work Stories" series for more than a year, focusing on the daily lives and stories of those making a living in Yuma County.She is a violinist, poet and sculptor.