200 High School Students Explored Healthcare Careers at MSJC

January 18, 2018

Nearly 200 high school students from Menifee and the Hemet areas explored careers in health care on Jan. 10 and 11 during the second annual Health Occupation Discovery Camp at Mt. San Jacinto College.

Held at MSJC’s Menifee Valley Campus, this event offered a series of hands-on workshops for the students from high schools within the college district’s boundary. The event was organized by a partnership between MSJC School of Nursing and Allied Health in conjunction with the Inland Health Professions Coalition-Reach Out.

“The two-day Discovery Camp at MSJC was designed to inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals” said Dr. Peter Zografos, director of Nursing and Allied Health at MSJC.

The students participated in activities that involved careers like certified nursing assistants, emergency medical technicians, registered nurses, diagnostic medical sonographers, and other related careers.

“All of that was really interesting to me,” said Michael Carter, 17, of Wildomar.

Carter says he enjoyed using the stethoscope to check the lung sounds of patients and also learning about gastric bypass procedures during the breakout sessions.

Carter, a high school senior at Elsinore High, plans on becoming an athletic trainer after college.

For some students, this was their first college visit experience.

Vanessa Vasquez, 16, of Perris plans to be a nurse. Attending this health camp was Vasquez’s first time on a college campus. She enjoyed cleaning wounds during the wound care session.

Liliana Montoya, MSJC alumna from 2015, is now a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Hemet Hospital, visited the camp to encourage these prospective students about their career options.

“It may seem difficult but it's not impossible...at times you may want to cry you may want to give up, I know I did, but just keep pushing forward...it's very rewarding,” Montoya told the students.

This was the second year MSJC hosted the camp, which invites high schools in underserved communities so students gain exposure to higher education in the healthcare fields. The camp will invite different groups of high schools each year due to the limited space. High schools that participated this year were:

Elsinore High School Citrus High School Hemet High School Heritage High School Paloma High School Perris High School Tahquitz High School West Valley High School

Students also had the opportunity to engage with MSJC healthcare students and obtain information on dual enrollment.

For more information on MSJC’s Nursing and Allied Health program, visit www.msjc.edu/Nursingandalliedhealth

Michael Carter
Michael Carter (right), 17, of Wildomar learns about nursing during MSJC’s Health Occupation Discovery Camp

medical helicopter arrives at MSJC
A medical helicopter arrives on MSJC’s Menifee Valley Campus during the second annual Health Occupation Discovery Camp for high school students. Joining the high school students are MSJC nursing students.

Liliana Montoya MSJC almuna Dr. Peter Zografos
Liliana Montoya MSJC almuna (left) and MSJC Nursing and Allied Health program Director Dr. Peter Zografos during the second annual Health Occupation Discovery Camp