21 students explore healthcare careers at Rome Memorial Hospital

    ROME -- Rome Memorial Hospital’s three-day Health Care Academy (HCA) program introduced 21 campers from eight different schools to a broad array of healthcare careers. Sponsored by Rome Hospital Foundation and M&T Bank, the Health Care Academy was held at the hospital July 31- August 2. 

    “The students had an opportunity to meet with healthcare workers from numerous departments throughout the hospital, talk about their jobs and see them in action in addition to participating in hands-on activities,” said Rome Memorial Hospital Director of Education, Volunteer Services and Employee Health Julie Chrysler. “We are eager to help these students become familiar with the broad range of opportunities that healthcare offers because there is a tremendous need for more people to choose these challenging and rewarding career fields.” 

    “When exploring careers, today’s young people are often faced with choosing between a high tech environment and working with people,” Chrysler said. “Healthcare is unique because it offers the best of both worlds.”

    Area students with an interest in exploring a healthcare career, attended the interactive summer camp. Participants included:

    Emma Flansburg, Mackenzie Grogg, Sienna Snyder, and Kaylee Yelton, eighth graders at Adirondack Central Schools; Pippa de Jong and Kira Pegues, ninth graders at Adirondack Central Schools; Dylan Piersall, a ninth grader at Camden High School; Nadia Foley, Pazia Grocholski and Camrynn Howard eighth graders at Holland Patent Middle School; Matthew DePerno, Stephanie Grocholski and Jonathan Zylinsky, ninth graders at Holland Patent High School; Sydney Hight, a ninth grader at Oriskany High School; Maranda Jeannotte and Gabriella Vanvorst ninth graders at Rome Free Academy; Allen Brown, an eighth grader at Sauquoit Valley Middle School; Jhanelle Kirk and Nicolina Lokker , eighth graders at Strough Middle School; Devyn Balfe a ninth grader at Vernon Verona Sherrill High School and Connor Hahn an eighth grade student at Whitesboro Middle School.

    The students, dressed in their scrubs, met with professionals in pharmacy, nursing, respiratory, speech and physical therapy, medical imaging, the laboratory and maternity. They also learned how to use a stethoscope, how to perform CPR and how to save a choking victim. Students spent their final day at the camp immersed in a mock motor vehicle accident. They were able to follow a patient from the accident scene to an Amcare Ambulance and through the emergency department. Students also had the chance to see a Mercy Flight Central helicopter land and take a peek inside.

    In addition to their hospital scrubs, each camper was given their own t-shirt, stethoscope, breakfast and lunch and a certificate of completion.

    For Stephanie Grocholski, a ninth grader from Holland Patent High School the HCA program was an eye-opening experience. “I think it’s a very good program and there’s so much to learn here,” she said. “When I found out that there is a lab here and seeing all of the other areas we visited, I know that there are so many careers that are possible in the medical field.”

    Grocholski says she would recommend the program to students who are considering a career in medicine. “It’s very fun and you can find a bunch of different areas and learn about them.”

    For Gabriella Vanvorst, a ninth grade student at Rome Free Academy, the HCA has helped point her to a possible career in obstetrics. “The camp is awesome, it’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” she said. “I really liked going up to the maternity department and I can see myself being an OB (doctor) or working with trauma patients.”

    “The hospital staff has been super nice and welcoming,” she said. “They take the time to explain things to us in different ways so they make sense and I’m amazed by all of the different acpects that go into making the hospital what it is.”

    “Many of the 2019 graduates have expressed an interest in returning as a volunteer or to shadow an employee in a specific department,” Chrysler noted.

    HCA Camp is only one of many educational outreach programs at Rome Memorial Hospital.

    “Career exploration and education is an ongoing initiative at Rome Memorial Hospital,” explained Chrysler. “We partner with business, education and the community to support workforce development in our area and increase awareness of healthcare careers.”

    Rome Memorial Hospital’s career education programming includes:
    • Madison-Oneida BOCES Professional Horizons and New Visions programs;
    • College internships & student placements;
    • Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Regional Program for Excellence;
    • College Works with MVCC and ARC
    • Work-study programs with BOCES and Pathways, DDSO;
    • Career fairs for middle and high school students;
    • Mentoring and shadowing opportunities; and
    • Volunteer opportunities that provide hands-on career exploration.

    Chrysler also praised two organizations for their contributions to the success of the camp. “The exposure to the world of healthcare that the students received this week is invaluable,” she said. “However, without the funding we received through Rome Hospital Foundation and M&T Bank, none of this would have been possible.”


     EMERGENCY MEDICINE- Ashley Edwards, BS, RN, CCRN, CEN, nurse manager of the Rome Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, left and Erin Shea, PA, a physician assistant at the hospital, give students at the hospital’s Healthcare Academy a behind-the-scenes look at a mock emergency room trauma. 21 students from 12 different schools spent three days at the hospital learning about the wide array of healthcare careers available to interested students.
    AN INSIDE LOOK- Sean Byard, a pilot for Mercy Flight Central, explains the inner workings of a rescue helicopter to students from the Medical Academy of Science and Health (M.A.S.H.) Camp, at Rome Memorial Hospital. 21 students from 12 different schools spent three days at the hospital learning about the wide array of healthcare careers available to interested students.