Sentara showcases career opportunities with student summer camp 

Published 10:00 am Friday, June 28, 2024

Sentara is continuing to prepare for the next generation of healthcare workers.

As part of the healthcare system’s Sentara Summer Career Camp program to present middle school students various healthcare career options, Sentara Obici Hospital held its summer camp on Thursday, June 20 providing a tour of their emergency department which also saw a visit from both Sentara Nightingale Air Ambulance and Suffolk Fire and Rescue. Sentara Obici Emergency Department Clinical Nurse Manager Hillarie Garner had a chance to talk about the tour and educational opportunities for the kids.

“…we have the opportunity to have Nightingale Air Ambulance Service here with us today to show the apparatus and kind of explain what they respond to and how they transfer patients,” Garner said. “We also incorporate an important piece of public service with Suffolk Fire and Rescue into our education and today, we’ve had the pleasure of being allocated with a ladder truck and an EMS First Response Vehicle and the paramedic is also briefing them on response and what they carry in the trucks to be able to appropriate their response to the citizens of our community.”

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Alongside her colleagues, Sentara Nightingale Flight Nurse Lynn Manning showcased their two engine EC145 helicopter to the students while discussing their various careers. 

“Our crew consists of a pilot, a nurse and a paramedic. There’s always three of us onboard. All of our pilots have past military experience,” Manning said.

Manning says it’s “very exciting” to teach the kids about how they work.

“It’s a great program for the kids to see what’s out there and what options they have when they graduate high school and decide what college they want to go to or what they want to get into,” Manning said. “So I think it’s a great opportunity for them to be exposed to the different fields of healthcare.”

Rising 7th Grader Alvento Saunders also had a chance to talk about his experience with the camp, which he calls “pretty fun.”

“You get to learn about jobs you can take there, basically what happens in the hospital, which is pretty cool,” Saunders said.

Saunders also says he sees himself working at Sentara when he grows up. 

On showcasing how the fire department works with Sentara, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Firefighter Stephenson F. Von Schaaf-Heretick talked about showcasing their specialty piece ladder truck, which is “one of three” in the city.

“Basically this truck is all about tools and about the aerial piece, so just showing them the different tools we have, what we use them for and kind of explaining our role on the fire ground,” Schaaf-Heretick said.

Schaaf-Heretick says it’s “an honor” to show what he does while showing students career options with the Fire Department, while reflecting on his younger self.

“For a long time, I didn’t realize this could be a career for me and if somebody had maybe shown me this when I was their age, I could’ve got started a lot sooner which would have been great,” he said. “Just showing them what we do, telling them about what we do, it’s kind of like the thrill of the truck, this beautiful truck coming down the street. Maybe they don’t know where we’re going or what we might be doing, but hopefully after today, they have an idea of what we do in the community.”

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