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SWOK kids get hands-on look at medical field during Operation Orange

Published: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:10 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - High school kids from across southwest Oklahoma got a glimpse of medical school during Operation Orange at Cameron University.

Operation Orange is put on by the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and aims to introduce students to the medical field, showing them the careers that are possible and hopefully sparking an interest at an early age.

Velma - Alma student Bell Driver came to Cameron for the camp Monday and hopes it points her in the right direction.

“I want to go into the medical field, I think this will help me get into it, it might push my career along faster,” Driver said.

The camps are held across the state over a two-week period.

“It’s a really hands-on day where they get to come out and meet our current students. We have our medical students, athletic training students, they’re teaching them how to do simulations. They’re learning how to intubate, how to suture, all kinds of different situations so they can kind of get their feet wet,” said OSU Center for Health Sciences High School Outreach Coordinator Ashley Marler.

Medical student Kennedy Williams says Operation Orange actually set her on the path she’s currently on.

“In high school, I actually went to one in Stillwater and my friend got me to go. I didn’t know what it was, but I thought I’ll go, it has to do with OSU. We get there and I just vividly remember intubation and that kept in my head over the years to where I know I wanted to do something in the medical field,” Williams said.

The camps specifically target students who grew up in rural communities, with the hopes they can help solve a current problem in the future.

“There is a severe physician shortage in rural Oklahoma so it really allows students to know they can come to our campus and then go back to the rural areas where folks are hurting, they’re having to drive miles just to find a physician, so it really allows them the opportunity to come back and serve the people, their neighbors, their community,” Marler said.

As for Driver, she’ll be a sophomore at Velma-Alma this year, but thanks to Operation Orange, already feels like she’s ahead of the curve.

“Suturing is what second-year medical students do, I think this is going put us ahead of that and we’ll be able to succeed better in the medical field,” Driver said.

In addition to Velma-Alma, there were kids from Lawton, Altus, Alex, Lone Wolf, and many other area schools in attendance Monday.

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