Lahainaluna student Yuna Lee attends summer adventure in healthcare
LAHAINA – On June 3-5, Yuna Lee, a Lahainaluna High School freshman, took part with students from Maui, Molokai and Lanai in the three-day Summer Adventure in Healthcare event presented by the Maui County Healthcare Partnership and Maui Economic Development Board’s STEMworks.
Originally launched in March 2017, MCHP is coordinated and staffed by MEDB. Together they are motivated by the shared needs of the county’s numerous participating healthcare providers.
“The State of Hawaii has a shortage of physicians right now and an even greater shortage in most other health professions,” said Lalaine Pasion, STEMworks project manager.
“MCHP and MEDB are encouraging today’s youth to become the competent core of tomorrow’s healthcare workforce. We bring together organizations in the county’s medical sector to talk about ways to sustain and grow the healthcare industry in Hawaii. Last week, middle and high schoolers took part in MCHP’s Summer Adventure in Healthcare. They participated in health-related, interactive experiences in an entertaining, exciting and fun way. The event provided a window into the abundant career opportunities in Hawaii’s medical field.”
The students toured local healthcare facilities, including Maui Memorial Medical Center, Hale Makua, Pacific Cancer Institute and the University of Hawaii Maui College Nursing Program, to help fuel their curiosity for possible careers. Stepping into the shoes of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, they used a variety of medical instruments and procedures.
Lee is already interested in healthcare. “I want to become a doctor and a surgeon,” she said. “These three days were packed with important information to help me plan for my future profession.”
“On the first day, we toured Hale Makua and learned what goes on there,” Lee explained.
“For local Maui students interested in healthcare, Hale Makua has a volunteer program that consists of a minimum of 60 hours. The goal is to create a meaningful and fulfilling connection between student volunteers and residents, and to provide the student volunteers with healthcare experience.”
Students attending the Hale Makua Kahului session learned about the long-term careers offered within Hale Makua’s system. Workers in this system provide residents with home health, rehabilitation, day health and care homes.
During the presentations at Hale Makua, students learned proper infection control techniques, glove use and hand-washing. Using a black light, students found the residual particles left on their hands after washing. It showed what areas they need to focus on more when they are washing their hands to avoid spreading germs.
“My favorite tour was to Maui Memorial Medical Center,” said Lee. “I learned how to take vitals and about casting. I was shown all the different job opportunities in the medical field – all the new professions available in different categories.”
Students also had the opportunity to visit the Pacific Cancer Institute, where they viewed state-of-the-art radiation therapy equipment and learned about the different approaches used to treat cancers, such as brain tumors, skin cancer and breast cancer.
“I realized the importance of school and the study time needed to attain my goals,” Lee said. “I was born and raised in Hawaii and want to work here and give back to my community. The services performed by doctors, nurses and all those working in healthcare are a remarkable opportunity to do just that.”
The final session of the first day featured a tour of the classrooms and laboratories of the University of Hawaii Maui College (UHMC) Nursing Program. During this session, students performed CPR on infant and adult dolls. They learned how to identify various stages of swelling, the meaning of varied pupil dilations and what congested lungs sound like. Additionally, they were given more hands-on activities such as making a cast, extracting DNA and taking vitals.
“I learned what it is like to meet a patient, take their vital signs, how to put a cast on a broken arm, and how to join a public health team designed to combat malaria around the world,” said Lee. “Additionally, we extracted DNA from a strawberry and learned its relation to vaccinations. This was a great learning experience!”
The second day at UHMC featured five hands-on sessions. Students paired up and learned how to put casts on the wrist and hand area. This session also featured the navigator book, an almanac of information about healthcare careers in Hawaii, the salaries, and the necessary educational requirements.
They learned basic circuitry with a Makey-Makey kit, turning everyday objects into computer game controllers, joined a public health team, and learned more clinical skills.
“On the third day, we took the full CPR and First Aid course and received Certification of Completion,” said Lee.
“I had already learned the basics of CPR and First Aid from a swimmers program called Junior Lifeguards. Still, I learned many more things on that day.”
Lee concluded, “I’m so thankful for this opportunity! Knowing we have a shortage of nurses and doctors in Hawaii, I hope this program inspires other students to consider a career in the medical field. I recommend Summer Adventure in Healthcare to everyone. The experience might motivate them to consider a healthcare career in Hawaii and to serve in their community.”