For the 10th year, teens got a first-hand view this summer of the nursing profession at the annual nursing camp at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, N.J.
According to a news release, 72 teens participated in the popular summer program that walks high school students through the daily lives of nurses and other healthcare professionals.
It is a program that has lasting influence, according to Taryn Wilson Condron, RN, an ED nurse at Trinitas.
Condron attended Trinitas Nursing Camp in 2006. Inspired to explore nursing by the TV medical drama “ER” and her aunt, Ginny Wilson, RN, nurse manager, Condron said she found validation in the camp.
“I always wanted to become a nurse,” she said in the release. “I would definitely recommend this program to anyone considering a career in nursing. It helped me finalize my decision.”
Lisa Liss, director of volunteer services, conceived the camp for students from Union County in 2004, then developed it with Patricia Haydu, RN, who recently retired as coordinator of health occupations at the Thomas Edison Career and Technical Academy of Elizabeth High School. Haydu serves as a program facilitator along with Eileen Mulroy, RN, MSH, health occupations instructor at the Edison academy. The program recently expanded to include campers from outside the county.
“For some, this week at Trinitas crystallizes their thinking about the healthcare field.” Liss said. “It’s a revealing week that can make all the difference in the world to young people exploring what they might want to do with their lives.”
Students start the weeklong program with orientation and an introduction to medical terminology, then hear presentations from clinical departments and functions in the organization. Campers have opportunities to shadow nurses for a realistic look at a career they might want to pursue.
This year’s campers offered plenty of feedback.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend the Nursing Camp at Trinitas,” camper Juianne Smolyn told Liss. “It was a very rewarding experience, and I enjoyed it very much.”
Emily Yang, another participant, wrote, “Thank you for incorporating me into the Trinitas family through Nursing Camp. I’m truly grateful for the experiences that I’ve had and the opportunities that have opened up to me, all because of what I’ve learned here. Thank you so much.”
Condron knows just how the students feel after attending camp.
Her summer at the camp was a fun learning experience, she said in the release.
“I learned that day-to-day nursing is a whole lot different from what you see on television. I got to see different aspects of the hospital. Campers get to see what jobs are out there for them.”
Condron offers one piece of advice to all aspiring nurses and healthcare professionals who are interested in volunteering or taking part in career programs before going to college.
“Get ready for hard work and don’t give up,” she said.