Sentara RMH Medical Center is again inviting local youth to the hospital for an up-close look at healthcare careers during the third annual Camp RMH, June 22-27.

Camp RMH to help youth explore healthcare careers

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Sentara RMH Medical Center is again inviting local youth to the hospital for an up-close look at healthcare careers during the third annual Camp RMH, June 22-27.

The day camp’s purpose is to create interest in healthcare careers among a select group of 15 bright, promising middle school students, said Silvia Garcia Romero, cultural diversity manager for the hospital. Students apply to the program and are selected based on their grades, teacher recommendations and an essay that each student writes about why he or she wants to participate. Many of the students are bilingual and bicultural.

"We hope to increase diversity and enhance cultural competence in health care by teaching these youth and encouraging them to become part of the next generation of healthcare workers," Garcia Romero said.

Throughout the week, campers will explore 15 hospital departments, participate in discussions regarding career options in each department, and have a chance to practice certain medical procedures — from giving IVs to oranges and suturing bananas to learning how to perform CPR and conduct EKG exams. They also will learn about the importance of developing professional attitudes and behaviors, including maintaining patient confidentiality.

Campers will gather with their parents or legal guardians on Saturday, June 27, for a graduation ceremony at the hospital.

"The camps have been very successful, and hospital staff enjoy working with the students," said Garcia Romero. "Many of the youth stay involved through our monthly Healthcare Club, and some have become Junior Volunteers. Being in the hospital, seeing and touching the equipment, wearing scrubs and stethoscopes — this makes it very tangible for them, and we hope it will encourage some to pursue healthcare careers."