Editor's Note: This story is part of a series focusing on Shawnee High School students who are preparing for future careers through internships as part of Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP).
From assisting nurses to bringing patients what they need, Shawnee High School junior Camille Columbus has developed a passion for the medical field because of her internship in the Emergency Room of SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee.
According to the 16-year-old, she has a myriad of duties and she enjoys the time she spends at her internship.
"I follow a nurse and I see different things everyday. So they usually get blood work and I help send them to lab," Columbus said. "I help hook the patients up to the monitor...and anything I can do."
Columbus explained she comes to the hospital every day and learns quite a bit from the nurses she shadows, including the types of medications they recommend, how to read heart monitors and the best ways to serve patients.
Columbus is only one of four juniors with an internship and she said when she found out about the program she was excited.
"I kind of wanted to do something with design, but now I think this is the path I want to take especially since I've been here," Columbus said.
According to Brandi Parsons R.N., Director of the Emergency Room, internships are the best way to help students truly experience what it means to be a medical professional.
"I think it helps them better understand what the medical field really is, maybe ease some of their fears and just open the door," Parsons said. "The medical field seems so scary because it's so big and broad, but it kind of makes it more possible for (students)."
Parsons explained this internship will also set Columbus apart from other college students pursuing medicine.
"It gives her an advantage to other students. She's going to understand a lot more than a college student going in with no experience whatsoever because with the medical field you've got to see it," Parsons said.
Registered Nurse Lacey Ashby is one of several nurses Columbus assists and she said Columbus is a hard worker.
"She is always willing to jump in there, work and she always does whatever we need her to do," Columbus said. "She's a go-getter and always asking questions and wanting to learn."
In addition to her internship, Columbus said she has a large course load, she plays soccer and she's part of the girls club Tri-Hi-Y.
Columbus said she would like to be an a anesthesiologist and help people after college.
"I want to do something that makes a positive change and I love people so I want to help them," Columbus said.
For Columbus, one of the best aspects of her junior year is this internship.
"I like learning and seeing the things that they do. I just really like being here. It's the best part of my day honestly," Columbus said.
Though she has another year of high school, Columbus said she would like to attend The University of Oklahoma after she graduates.