With a stethoscope in hand, sophomore high school student Sidona Mehari knelt down and placed the end of the stethoscope on 5 year-old Logan Holtzclaw’s chest and listened.  

A few moments later, Mehari switched out the stethoscope for a blood pressure reader and gingerly wrapped it around Holtzclaw’s arm.  

“I’ve wanted to become a brain surgeon, but now nursing is on my list too,” Mehari said with a smile.  

Mehari was one of 20 high school students who participated in Scrubs Camp at Winona State University on Tuesday and Wednesday. The camp gives students a chance to step into the shoes of healthcare professionals and explore in an interactive way different career paths – many of which can begin right here at WSU. The two-day long Camp offered sessions on Pediatric Medicine, OBGYN, Family and Sports Medicine, Emergency Care, Imaging and CQ Tech, and eye care.  

“The ultimate goal of Scrubs Camps is to give students exposure to healthcare so they can understand there are other healthcare careers available to them besides being a nurse or doctor,’ said organizer Brady Malecha, the MN State Healthforce Center of Excellence K16 Program Coordinator.  

A few feet away from Mehari, Minneapolis high school junior Camille Faber inserted a syringe into a vial of liquid, as instructed by Winona Health Doctor Sarah Lallaman, and carefully filled the syringe. 

Then, with care and precision, Faber picked up an orange from the table she was at and slowly stuck the needle into an orange, releasing the liquid.  

Next she headed over to Holtzclaw, who kicked her feet playfully as she waited for the next high school student to check her heart. Faber grabbed a stethoscope and tried it out on Holtzclaw.  

“Wow, your heart beats so much faster,” Faber said excitedly.  

Faber said the experience was “pretty cool” and was thankful to explore more in-depth while she thought out her career path.  

“I’m excited to be here,” she said. “And to get to work on real kids.”  

Lallaman, who was one of numerous Winona Health, Mayo Clinic, and WSU faculty presenters, said it seems like there’s more interest in the healthcare field after the experience of the pandemic. With her passion for keeping children healthy, she hopes experiences like Scrubs Camp helps spark interest in pediatrics and other careers. 

For Mehari and Faber, that was certainly the case. 

“We love to see the magic in a student’s eyes when they find that career they want to do,” Malecha said.  

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Tesla Mitchell

Named after the 80's rock band, Tesla Mitchell has a decade of experience covering local news and features as a journalist in Winona. A Saint Mary's University alumna, Tesla graduated with a bachelor's degree in Journalism with an emphasis in political science and entrepreneurship. During her free time, Tesla enjoys organizing block parties, being a super mom and an avid heavy weightlifter.