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Students attend medical camp | CTV News

“Now take the gauze out, and put it over the wound,” said Ally Hulley as the Goderich, Ont. based Registered Nurse gave a group of healthcare hungry high schoolers a crash course on packing a wound.

It’s all part of the week long Discovery Healthcare Camp taking place just outside of Goderich.

“We learned how to do heart compressions. How to give the right amount of [epinephrine] and we learned how to put an air tube down someone,” said 17-year-old Ella Workma from Huron County.

“We learned how to do paediatric airways, and how that’s different than adults. I liked learning about that,” said aspiring paramedic 16-year-old Alyssa Keys from Varna.

Sixteen Huron County high schoolers with an interest in healthcare have the spent the past week learning from actual nurses and Western medical students about what it takes to work in hospitals, specifically rural hospitals.

Because part of this week is about turning that flicker of interest into a burning flame that will lead these teenagers to work at hospitals in rural Ontario, and hopefully turn the temporarily closed signs outside numerous emergency rooms back into 24/7 open signs.

Students, seen on July 14, 2023, learned about healthcare and job options in the medical field during a weeklong Discovery Healthcare Camp near Goderich, Ont. Organized by Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health, Alexandra and Marine General Hospital, and Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University. (Scott Miller/CTV News London)

“A part of the goal is to recruit and retain healthcare workers to the rural areas, because if you were raised rural, you’ll go back to rural. So, having these camps and allowing these kids to explore different pathways that are available might actually lead them back home to enrich our own local healthcare systems,” said one of the camp organizers and 3rd year medical student Aaron Lewis from Kincardine, Ont.

Lewis said part of the focus of the camp is just to bring back some positivity around working in healthcare.

The rolling ER closures and healthcare worker burnout has actually hurt recruitment efforts at a time where future nurses, doctors, and radiologists are needed the most.

“Everyone thinks the hospitals are run down, we’re short staffed, and everyone is focusing on these issues we’re having, and I think the biggest thing we can do is bring some excitement, passion, and innovation to the problem. Instead of these conversations, that things are so bad, we need to shift that mentality to what is our two-year plan and how can we make it better,” said Hulley, who recently moved back to Goderich to work as a Registered Nurse.

“That shifting of the mindset towards getting people excited about healthcare, like through these camps and raising the next generation, to even enriching and supporting ourselves as healthcare workers to help bring each other through it,” said Lewis, who plans to return to Midwestern Ontario as a physician when his medical training is complete.

Students, seen on July 14, 2023, learned about healthcare and job options in the medical field during a weeklong Discovery Healthcare Camp near Goderich, Ont. Organized by Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health, Alexandra and Marine General Hospital, and Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University. (Scott Miller/CTV News London)

The camp counsellors’ enthusiasm appears to be rubbing off.

“With the huge amount of need for nurses, I feel like I really should go into the medical field. It’s just kind of sad to think of all the people in need and we don’t have the type of people to give them that health help,” said camp participant 16-year-old Nick Roy.

“I feel like, if you have the ability to help in medical care, you should, because, there’s so many people out there that need help,” said Workma, who aspires to work in the field of Cardiology.

You can learn more about the annual Discovery Healthcare Camps run in Goderich and Stratford by visiting their website.