Exploring Health Careers In The Northeast Kingdom

COURTESY PHOTO

Holly Brown, junior at St. Johnsbury Academy, practices technique learned in the clinical simulation lab during the MedQuest program she attended in July.

This summer, 20 ninth- and tenth-grade students spent a week learning about hundreds of exciting health careers during the MedQuest Health Careers Exploration Program. Student stayed on campus at Lyndon State College to experience what attending a residential college might be like.

The week of MedQuest is packed with activities. Each participant was matched with four different health care professionals in their practice setting to learn more about their career. These "job shadow" experiences provide glimpses into a typical day for a dentist, pharmacist, pediatrician, lab technician, and many others.

Holly Brown, a junior at St. Johnsbury Academy, said, "I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the job shadow and how much it helped me to discover what I'm looking for in my future career."

Through a wholly revamped curriculum, students this year learned about human biology and gained medical skills. Interactive workshops included CPR and basic first aid certification classes, a dissection lab and patient simulations. CALEX and the St. Johnsbury Fire Department demonstrated a simulated patient rescue using the jaws-of-life. Students met panels of health professionals and had a chance to ask what they loved about their work, education and their lives.

Desiree Bowen gave MedQuest high marks on everything. "I really enjoyed the First Aid training, and also the CPR was very fun," said Desiree, a sophomore at North Country Union High School. "I really enjoyed the mock drill and getting to see the inside of the ambulance. Also, my job shadow was awesome! Meeting the practitioners was a lot of fun. I have been very impressed."

The MedQuest Health Careers Exploration Program was developed by the Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in 1999 to meet the growing demand for health professionals in Vermont.

The MedQuest program is made possible through the contributions from North Country Hospital, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Women's Fund, the UVM College of Medicine Freeman Medical Scholars Program, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation and local donors. For 14 years, the Northeastern Vermont AHEC has coordinated MedQuest for students from Caledonia, Lamoille, Orleans, Essex, Orange and Washington counties of Vermont. For more information visit our website at www.nevahec.org or contact MedQuest Director, Kim O'Connor, at 748-2506.

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