There was a time, when she was so much younger, that 14-year-old Megan Hogan wanted to be an emergency room doctor.
Then she tried to put on a pair of plastic gloves during a, well, hands-on experience with real medical equipment.
The left glove went on in a snap, literally. The right hand?
She found two fingers creeping into the same opening, all fingers snagging on the material, and the tips of the glove digitally unattainable. Two fellow middle-school students tried to help, but all three broke out in giggles when the glove suddenly ripped open in several spots.
Does she still want to be a doctor?
“Maybe, ” she laughed, “Just not the kind that wear these gloves.”
Hogan was one of 25 students from 13 schools attending the fourth Misericordia University Health Sciences Interprofessional Middle School Career Camp this week, and Thursday’s sessions largely took place in Passan Hall, loaded with simulated patients and practice equipment.
The students, most of them from grades 6-8, though some older ones joined this year — alternated between stations that gave some exposure to intravenous fluids, pill splitting, syringe injection using a pad designed to mimic a human’s arm, and the donning of protective clothing from booties to hairnet, face mask and gloves included.
Hogan, from Lake-Lehman School District, praised the various programs for doing exactly what they are set up to do: Give the students exposure to a wide range of job options in the medical field. Along with the simulations Thursday, the five-day camp included basic anatomy lessons, a chance to learn some neurology and physiology using the Anatomage virtual dissection table, and some hands on experience with other specialized equipment.
It was, she said, giving her a second chance to re-evaluate the career choice she made when she was just a kid, though it afforded an important lesson. She had yearned to be an ER doctor after seeing all those cool TV shows.
“They made it look easy,” she smiled, her right hand still only half-way in her glove. “It’s a lot harder in real life.”
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish