This summer I focused on teenagers and healthcare. I wanted to educate myself and then create a product to help other teens be more educated about the healthcare world.
I started off the summer shadowing nurses and doctors at my local hospital, Baystate Franklin Hospital. I observed procedures in many areas of the hospital, including urology, radiology, oncology, the emergency room, the kitchen, and cardiopulmonary. I also watched a laparoscopic surgery. After completing two weeks of shadowing, I volunteered in the patient center—the “spokes”—and oncology for the rest of the summer. This first hand experience broadened my knowledge of the medical field and how hospitals are run. I saw how all the different parts of a hospital work together. In addition to gaining knowledge, I met people who were able to help me with the other aspects of my project this summer.
In order to create a resource for teenagers on healthcare, I interviewed people in my community. My first interview was with Matt from Community 911, an organization that helps train and educate people in emergency medicine. I then interviewed an EMT, some pediatricians, a hospital administrator, and other teenagers to capture their first experiences with the ER. I edited those interviews into podcasts to share with the larger community. I hope people who listen will take away more knowledge about the healthcare world and maybe have some of their own questions answered.
To share this information, I created a website called Health Savvy Teens. I enjoy art and used my skills to direct the concept and design for the website. I drew the logo by hand. Besides the interviews themselves, resources inspired by the interviews and information about emergency medicine will be accessible as well. I will create posters and distribute them to the rest of my community to spread awareness.
I have enjoyed every aspect of this opportunity, from becoming lifeguard certified and learning CPR to being surprised by what was shared in the interviews. Gaining access to people who may not be always available, particularly as a teenager, has also been gratifying. I am grateful for the knowledge I now have and the ability to share it with other people. I have found the information insightful, and I hope other people appreciate the interviews as well.