By Kelsey Dayton, contributor, County10.com
(Riverton, Wyo.) – They want to be pharmacists, pediatricians and nurses, and on Friday about 35 Fremont County students from Shoshoni Junior High School, Riverton Middle School and Wyoming Indian Middle School toured Riverton Memorial Hospital visiting with staff to learn what they do at work.
The event, in its second year, was put on by Fremont County Board of Cooperative education Services (BOCES) and funded through a grant from the Wyoming Department of Health, said Sandy Barton, executive director of FC BOCES. About 80 students got a chance to learn about health care by visiting hospitals in Lander and Riverton. Students had to apply for the opportunity and show an interest in health care.
Students spent the day learning from staff in departments from infection control, to physical therapy, to radiology to dietary. The goal is to expose students to a variety of careers in health care before they enter high school a time when many students start deciding what they want to pursue and study in college, Barton said.
“We’re hoping they find their pathway into health care,” she said.
Morning Gambler from Wyoming Indian Middle School has always wanted to be a nurse.
“I like taking care of people,” she said.
The event gave her a better idea of what the job actually entails and cemented that is what she wants to do one day.
The day gave the students a behind-the-scenes look at what working at a hospital really involves.
“It’s harder than it looks,” said Jaylynn Crawley, a student from Riverton Middle School.
This was the second year Kylee Cress from Riverton Middle School attended the event. While she thinks she’d like to be a veterinarian she still liked learning about all the career possibilities at one hospital and the different paths she could take into health care.
“You don’t necessarily have to be a doctor or a nurse,” she said.
Lander, Dubois and Wind River students visited Lander Regional Hospital
By Ernie Over, managing editor, County10.com
One week earlier, Stuart Wendel, an 8th grade student at Lander Middle School, sat in the pilots seat of a Classic Lifeguard Aeromedical helicopter parked outside the emergency room at Lander Regional Hospital. It was something he hadn’t imagined before. As pilot Barry Worstell explained the operation and meaning of the many switches, dials and controls of the helicopter, Wendell took in every word, and asked questions about flying.
Wendel wasn’t alone in that department. Nearly every of the 3o students had a question or two as they moved from one department at LRH to another, from the cardio monitoring lab, to the CT Scanner to respiratory therapy and more.
“The cardio lab was kinda confusing,” admitted Neniah Enos, 14, from Lander. “The display was backwards and upside down. I’ve been thinking about health care since I’ve been eight, and since I’m not bothered by the sight of blood, I think I’d like to be a surgeon.” Neniah’s auntie was a nurse, but that is the only member of her family who is presently in health care.
Dakota Weiss, who at age 14 attended this same session one year ago, said he liked the idea of helping people. “I like the hands on of being a doctor,” he said. “But, that helicopter was new to me and I got to see the radiation lab this time.”
Dr. Kristen Benson, the Career and Technical Director at FC BOCES, said the program allows students to experience many different kids of Allied Health careers in their short day at the hospital. “Then they can begin exploring what kinds of classes they’ll need to take in high school to prepare them for a health career, or moving into the college. It gives them a head start,” she said.
The two programs were funded by the Wyoming Office of Rural Health in the Wyoming Department of Health under the REACH, or Research and Explore Awesome Careers in Healthcare program and coordinated locally by FC BOCES.