23 CNMI junior high school students were given the opportunity to attend a two-week summer camp focused on the introduction of the healthcare industry and its many career paths in the CNMI.
Organized by the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at the Northern Marianas College, students gained hands-on experience in CPR/first-aid training, mental health awareness, nutrition and health, and were introduced to high-demand medical career pathways, such as nursing, anesthesiologist, registered dietician nutritionist, dental hygienist, respiratory care therapist, radiologic technicians, phlebotomist, hemodialysis technician, physical therapist, medical lab and pharmacy technicians, mental health counselors and emergency medical technicians, to name a few. Activities and presentations were designed to expand student interest and knowledge of these professions.
“Research shows that reaching students in middle school and early high school creates a commanding learning experience that can be a life changer,” said Les Ogumoro-Uludong, program manager for NMC-AHEC. “With the growing demand for certified employees within the healthcare industry, we look to build a connection with our youth as early as junior high so they are aware of the career paths available to them at NMC.”
Through the support of community partners, including 4H Marianas, Commonwealth Health Corporation (CHCC), the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DFEMS), the Community Guidance Center-Systems of Care (CGC-SOC), Seventh Day Adventist (SDA), 500 Sails, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Eucon Medical Health Services, Marianas Health Services, and many others, the teen participants met professionals in an array of healthcare careers, learned the responsibilities of the job and the skills and educational qualifications required for the profession.
To conclude the camp, the students grouped together based on their healthcare career choice, researched further and presented their findings to their peers.
“It was our goal for this group of students to leave with an aspiring interest in a healthcare occupation, and, with the help of our community partners, we met that goal,” said Ogumoro-Uludong.