Lincoln students get real world experience at hospital's summer - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Lincoln students get real world experience at hospital's summer camp

Lincoln students get real world experience at hospital's summer camp

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Peyton Mickells knows she wants to help sick kids. 

"I've always loved kids, Mickells said. "I love babysitting, all that jazz." 

Going into her senior year at Lincoln East High School, Mickells knows one way to help is by becoming a nurse. 

That's why she was thrilled to hear she was accepted into CHI Saint Elizabeth's summer Occupation Health Camp, which takes the cream of the crop from Lincoln high schools and gives them a week of full access to the hospital's doctors and departments. 

Thursday, Mickells got to see up close what her dream career looks like - visiting two newborns and the Saint Elizabeth NICU. 

"You don't get these type of opportunities. So being able to shadow and actually go into a hospital is just an incredible opportunity," Mickells said. 

Now in its 10th year, organizers say the camp is a win not just for the students, but also for the hospital - with some participants even returning to take full-time positions after finishing school. 

"That's part of what we want is for them to be able to see that medicine truly is a career that they would enjoy," said Vice President of Medical Operations Dr. Michael Rapp. "And so it's kind of fun seeing these people getting back to us after completing their education."

This year's camp had 10 participants. 

They spent several hours a day at the hospital, wrote about their experience in journals and heard from speakers. 

"This is really a great experience for them because they know they're interested in health care," said Human Resources Coordinator Tiffany Heimes. "And by talking with them and reading through their journals, they kind of know right from the beginning through their observations that, 'This is really something unique, I like this,' or 'You know, maybe this one isn't for me."

For Mickells, the camp re-affirmed her desire to get into the healthcare field. 

"It's been so much fun," she said. "I've gotten to see things I've never seen before. So yeah, it's been so much fun."

The students had to go through a rigorous selection process in order to be selected for the camp. 

Mickells says she plans to continue her education at UNL after graduating, and to one day work with babies like the ones she met during the camp. 

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