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Although opportunities vary by region, the healthcare sector continues to add jobs. So it makes sense to consider a healthcare career. But many people are hindered by lack of knowledge: They don't want to be doctors or nurses, but they're not sure what other options exist.
Trying it out
Scrubs Camp offers them a chance to find out. The program was originally created for high school students by HealthForce Minnesota (www.healthforceminnesota.org), a collaborative partnership of education, industry and community.
"But adults need to try new things, too," says Jane Foote, HealthForce Minnesota executive director. "So we created Adult Scrubs Camp."
Camps have been held on community college campuses in St. Cloud, Rochester and Pipestone. Campers range in age from 18 to 60, and the majority are unemployed or displaced workers.
During three action-packed days, they immerse themselves in the world of healthcare. During the anatomy workshop, for example, they dissect sheep hearts. Even those who think of science as boring or hard are surprised to find the experience fascinating. "It's a real confidence-builder for adults worried about going back to school," Foote says.
Over 20 different workshops offer hands-on opportunities to check out careers in pharmacy, laboratory science, dental hygiene, occupational therapy, physical therapy, cardiovascular care, health information technology and more.
Campers also attend career change and readiness sessions and receive information about healthcare career resources available to them through educational institutions and workforce development agencies.
"This experience expanded my understanding of the medical field and sparked an excitement that I never had before," one camper wrote in her evaluation.
It is anticipated that more Adult Scrubs Camps will be held around the state. For information, visit www.healthforceminnesota.org/pages/Programs/Adult-Outreach. Or contact the dean of health sciences or allied health at your local community college.