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NOVA medical campus, local hospital partner to provide healthcare experience to middle school students

Students from week one of Camp Med 2016

Students from week one of Camp Med 2016.


Camp Med students experience careers in healthcare

Camp Med students experience careers in healthcare.

For the 12th consecutive year, Northern Virginia Community College’s Medical Education Campus (MEC) and Virginia Hospital Center have partnered to offer middle school-aged students a hands-on opportunity to explore healthcare professions.

For two camp weeks, held June 27-July 1 for rising 6th and 7th graders, and July 25-29 for rising 8th and 9th graders, Camp Med is a widely popular week-long summer program for students interested in healthcare. Sessions are limited to 20 campers each week. Participants spend a full day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington; and Tuesday and Thursday at NOVA’s Medical Education Campus in Springfield.  

At NOVA, campers became certified in AHA HeartSaver and participated in a Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) simulation. During the mock crime scene, campers learned medical terminology and operational skills related to police-forensics, emergency medical services, nursing, medical laboratory technology, physical therapy, respiratory therapy and radiography. As a first for campers this year, a zombie apocalypse theme was incorporated into the scenario. Each camper also learned how to effectively conduct internet research from creditable sources. Students researched for a potential cure and vaccine for individuals infected by a zombie epidemic, “zombism.”

“In order to become a skilled healthcare professional, students need to know how to properly conduct research,” said Diane Kearney, Lead Medical Librarian at MEC. “This new addition to the Camp Med experience allows campers to learn about basic search skills they can utilize throughout high school and college.”  

While at Virginia Hospital Center, students rotated through the pulmonary and cardiac catheterization labs, ER, pharmacy, radiology, rehabilitation and medical diagnostics areas.

Nana Bonsu, a rising sixth grader at Pine Spring Elementary School in Falls Church, said attending Camp Med fueled her aspirations of becoming a doctor and helping others in need.

“I loved and enjoyed everything about Camp Med,” Bonsu said. “I was challenged to do so many exciting things, from acting as a police officer at the scene of a crime to learning about respiratory therapy and nursing. I had a really great time.”

All inquiries for Camp Med 2017 should be directed to www.virginiahosiptalcenter.com keyword: Camp Med.


By Kristina Ogburn

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.