ICU nurse Melissa Kitcho demonstrates to junior Aulea Lotty from Alcovy High how to place a blood pressure cuff on a patient, portrayed by fellow Alcovy student Taylor Staples. About 50 students are participating in the junior volunteer program this summer.
COVINGTON -- About 50 students are learning what it's like to work at a hospital this summer.
The students are part of Newton Medical Center's junior volunteer program.
"These are excellent students who come to us for the most part thinking they want to have a career in the medical field," said Martha Taylor, director of Volunteer Services at NMC.
For between one and three weeks over the summer, depending on what level of experience the students have, they spend time at the hospital in various departments shadowing workers, filing charts, completing paperwork and interacting with patients.
"I want to learn more about the hospital," said 11th-grader Morgan Beshears, who attends Alcovy High School, about why she wanted to be in the program.
During the program, nurses and department managers and directors also teach students about surgical procedures and equipment, bed and bath techniques, tasks like taking blood pressure, medical terminology, disabilities, nutrition and skills like infant CPR.
"I want to see a different point of view, rather than learning through books," said Newton High School junior Aliyah Saadein. "I want to learn by doing things hands on."
She hopes to attend nursing school at Emory University and already is in the nursing program at the Newton College & Career Academy through the dual enrollment program with Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
"I just like helping people," she said.
Clinical manager Tiffany Adams said programs like this help prevent students from wasting time studying to be in the health care field and later finding out that they don't really like it after getting to experience it first-hand.
"This gives them the idea to see if it's something they want to pursue," she said.
Taylor said some students also worked at area doctors offices this year for the program.
The hospital and NMC Auxiliary Services also presented scholarships to several Newton County seniors this year.