Stillwater, Minn. – A future generation of medical professionals got a taste of hospital life at Lakeview Hospital recently. The six-week Explorers program offers young people ages 14 to 20 the chance to explore potential health care careers by spending time in different areas of the hospital, including the Emergency Department, Surgery, Women’s Center, Respiratory Therapy, EMS, Audiology and Radiology.
During this session, the group of 28 students – including Carson Timm, Allison Faust and Abbi Faust, from Hudson – got to use a surgical scope, observe a newborn well-child exam and ride on a stretcher. All attendees received a certificate of completion at the final session on Dec. 5.
The hospital’s Explorers program has been offered through the Boy Scouts of America’s Northern Star Council for more than 15 years. Earl Bakke, Clinical Resource Educator at Lakeview Hospital and host of the Explorers program, is passionate about the opportunity. As a 14-year-old, he joined the Explorers program through his local fire and EMS department in Florida. Now, more than three decades later, he’s thrilled to be giving back.
“Being in the Explorers program was very rewarding; I knew then that public service was where I was going to have my career,” says Bakke. “It’s fun to lead the Explorers group now, as the host.” Bakke says the participants all get something out of the program. “Some most enjoy hearing the stories we tell about working in health care and others like the hands-on parts the most.”
All students rated the program as excellent for introducing them to opportunities in health care and answering their questions about the medical field. Lakeview Hospital offers the program – which fills up quickly – annually. The next course will run in fall 2017.