Hometown Jobs: Students participate in Camp Carilion

Published: Jun. 21, 2023 at 5:08 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Summer camp season is officially here and there’s one happening this week geared toward inspiring the next generation of healthcare workers.

“Very interesting to see all of the healthcare careers that go into saving one life, said Karri Proctor, the Student Services Manager – Visiting Student Affairs / Medical Education at Carilion Clinic.

“I’ve loved every second of it,” said Cora Houston, a Camp Carilion student.

Twelve high school-age students are participating in Camp Carilion.

“Camp Carilion is sort of an all-encompassing week worth of exposure to healthcare careers. We learn about over sixty careers during our camp,” said Proctor.

“I’ve had a lot of family members who have been really big role models for me and they’ve really just showed me what it means to give back to my community and to be one of the best people I can be, and I love just helping out people. I love being hands-on and right beside people and interacting with them, and going into the medical field was just something that really just caught by attention and I knew that I would impact a bunch of lives through that,” said Houston.

The camp encourages a career in healthcare with hands-on experiences at Carilion Clinic, Radford University Carilion and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.

“I think there’s tremendous benefits in a camp like this where they’re really taking what they’ve studied and what they’ve seen in a textbook, and really applying it to a real-world scenario, and they’re seeing scientists do their science and really seeing how these basic concepts are being applied and used and bringing worth to things they are learning in a classroom and showing the tangible utility in them,” said Zach Hutelin, a PhD candidate.

“We want to make sure that they stay interested in health care, that they stay dedicated to wanting to help people and help our community and there are so many different ways to do that,” said Proctor.

“It really just allows the students to see what truly is out there and what truly you can get into, and it just goes beyond the classroom. It goes beyond the assignments and due dates and things like that... just shows how meaningful and impactful your work is,” said Houston.

Carilion Clinic hopes these students will stay with it to fill a need in the community.

“We need people more than ever, so we hope we can expose them early enough, make a good impression, they’ll come back and do some shadowing, they’ll come back maybe do their clinical rotations here depending on what discipline or path they take, and hopefully we’ll impress them enough at that level to retain them as an employee,” said Proctor.

“What they’re learning in school today, tomorrow and for years to come, really does have a direct application to the workforce and potentially their careers moving forward, in that when they’re reading scientific workbooks or taking these science classes, the things that they are seeing in there, that some individual really did figure that out, discover that and put that together and that they have the opportunity in their lifetimes to do the same,” said Hutelin.