Glen Cove Middle and High School students spent a day during their spring break participating in a hands-on learning experience, pairing up with healthcare professionals at Glen Cove Hospital to get a first-hand look at a variety of careers in the field. The event was co-organized with the Boys & Girls Club of Glen Cove where the students are members.
Among the day’s participants were Mindy Morales, 13, who shadowed emergency department nurse Evelyn Giannetti, RN. Morales got her vital signs taken, visited the triage and trauma rooms and other areas of the emergency department.
“I’m interested in becoming a dentist,” said Morales, who wears braces. “I’ve been going to the dentist every month for two years. I find it interesting and you get to help people.”
Arlene Morizio, a nurse educator of the hospital’s emergency department and a nurse for more than 30 years, coordinated the shadow day.
“This event gives young students an opportunity to consider their career and be exposed to a variety of health professions in the field, which is rewarding,” said Morizio. “As a result, many students become hospital volunteers in high school and some have studied to be lab technicians or nurses.”
Ruth Villatoro, 13, teamed with Thomas Howard, the hospital’s director of respiratory therapy. The hospital is known for its pulmonary rehabilitation program and offers state-of-the-art pulmonary function testing.
“I signed up for respiratory therapy because some of my friends have asthma and I wanted to learn more,” said Villatoro.
Howard explained how the unit works, diagnoses lung conditions such as asthma and how the test helps therapists better understand patients’ breathing abilities. Then Villatoro enthusiastically entered the plastic enclosed, space-age looking unit and simulated a breathing test.
Other areas of the hospital that students visited included the laboratory, pharmacy, radiology, family practice and various nursing stations.
Chris Ricco, program director at the Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club, visited many of the students in their “hospital classrooms” for the day.
“At this age, students are already thinking about college,” said Ricco. “Shadow day is important because it gives our young members a chance to interact with healthcare professionals and gain first-hand knowledge about working in the health field.”