NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- What better way is there to get a sense of the medical professions than to practice CPR on a fake torso, use an ultrasound machine and practice applying sutures?
Hundreds of high school students from lower Westchester - including many from New Rochelle High School - tried their hands at those and other medical procedures last week when NRHS hosted a "Careers in Medicine" fair.
The House IV cafeteria bustled with the lively event presented by NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital. Dozens of medical professionals answered questions and led hands-on activities.
"I saw this opportunity and knew that I had to take it up and see what I could learn," said NRHS freshman Hayden Roberge, who was attending because she has always been interested in medicine. Among other activities, she had used the ultrasound device to guide the insertion of a long needle into a chicken breast.
"To have these kids actually touching and doing the procedures and not just hearing them talk is a whole other level," said Mara Roberge, Hayden's mother.
The idea came from NewYork-Presbyterian, which brought some 40 doctors, plus nurse practitioners, physician assistants, hospital administrators and others to the school.
"We wanted to bring 21st century learning to these high school students," said Dr. Susan Campanile of ColumbiaDoctors, which is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian.
"You see how invested the doctors and the medical professionals are in the community," said NYP/Lawrence Hospital President Michael Fosina.
NRHS Principal Reginald Richardson said the school was grateful to NewYork-Presbyterian for offering the event.
"I am thrilled that we were able to partner with NewYork-Presbyterian to provide our students with the opportunity to participate in a meaningful and interactive exploration of the wide variety of careers available in the field of medicine," he said. "I would like to thank NewYork-Presbyterian for generously offering our students the opportunity to learn directly from practicing medical professionals."
It was just what NRHS senior Dainia Longley was looking for as she considers a career in medicine.
"This is my opportunity to try it," she said after testing a few of the activities. "I've been looking for months to find out how I can learn about it."