Friday, August 1, 2014

Girl Scouts Explore STEM Careers with North Shore-LIJ

GSNC-NSLIJ Career Exploration Camp

By Elizabeth Sam

Girl Scouts of Nassau County has embarked on various initiatives to empower young women to enter STEM fields. This year, GSNC joined forces with North Shore-LIJ Health System to kick-start the first ever GSNC-NSLIJ Career Exploration Camp for high school girls. A program for registered Girl Scouts, it looked to grant girls the opportunity to explore the variety of clinical and nonclinical professional opportunities available within the ever-growing field of healthcare. In addition, it also looked to expose girls to the variety of nonclinical STEM related fields within healthcare and related research.

A group of nineteen girls, all at different points in their high school career, were given the opportunity to spend a week at NSLIJ’s various facilities. These girls had the opportunity to participate in lectures, tour the organization’s corporate university, become familiarized with the work and opportunities of and within the world renowned Feinstein Institute for Research, participate in a CPR certification class and patient simulations, as well as take part in two clinical day. On these days, they had the chance to immerse themselves in the different clinical facilities at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center. The girls had an informative and fun week, where they had the chance to “play surgeon” by donning full surgical gear, (and I must say, the lab coats do suit them nicely!) practice their very own suturing skills with NSLIJ’s DaVinci surgical robot, and got the chance to observe several surgeries from inside the operating room.  I mean, how many people can say they got the chance to see a brain surgery from inside the OR? 
At the start of the program, many of the girls had expressed that they wanted to go on to become doctors and nurses toward the beginning of the week. However, at the close of the program, these same girls expressed that they were considering a wider scope with regard to their career interests. Several girls who had expressed a vague interest in the medical field walked away saying they not only wanted to become involved within the field, but would like to become leaders in these fields within different clinical disciplines, ranging from medicine to research to engineering and nursing. 

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