Sounds interesting: Nursing camp is real practice - Camdenton, MO - Lake Sun Leader
The 20 future nurses may be on winter vacation, but that doesn’t mean learning has taken a break.
Lake Regional Health Systems held a two-day nursing camp attended by 17 high school students and one college student with interests in a future career in the health care industry.
On the first day, they discussed anatomy, physics, nursing requirements and the different areas of nursing. A medical student spoke before each tied on paper gowns and masks, broke up into groups and dissected pig uteri.
It was a chance for each to pick out muscle groups, bones, organs and the close similarities with the human body.
Dressed in teal scrubs, on the second day, the class split into two groups. One group headed to the hospital to make rounds and observe nurses working with real patients.
Back in the conference room, the other students got some hands-on training.
In one corner, two rubber arms were poked with needles as students practiced inserting an IV.
“When I was in nursing school, we practiced on each other,” oncology nurse Brandi Kincaid said, only half joking.
Kincaid helps each student at the station. At first, each approach the realistic arm with a bit of apprehensiveness and nervousness. Once they learned the correct steps and how-to’s of handling a needle, they walked away with more than just a pile of used needles sitting on the table. They walked away armed with a sense of confidence knowing the first time they have to perform the procedure won’t be on a live person.
Fewer bruised arms have been just one of the outcomes of the nursing camps.
Beth Pettitt has been organizing the nursing camps at the hospital twice a year for the past several years.
A nurse herself, Pettitt says she strives to give each camp a different ‘flavor’ by offering different classes, rotations or even themes.
Teaching the basic skills and fundamentals - such as taking blood pressure and pulse, assessing wounds, etc. - will always remain at the core of the curriculum.
With those skills, Pettitt says the students can enter into nursing school feeling confident about themselves. That, in turn, produces better nurses.
A better atmosphere, experience and opportunity can also mean a higher number of nursing recruits who already live nearby.
Several years ago, faced with a rising attrition rate of staffed nurses at the hospital, Lake Regional and Columbia College partnered together to start a nursing program at the college’s Lake of the Ozarks branch in Osage Beach.
Pettitt said today, there are only three open nursing positions.
The nursing camps and the partnership with Columbia College are given partial credit.
Other reasons include the hospital reaching out to the community more and also taking more steps to be proactive.
Listed on its Web site, Lake Regional Health System , are a long list of classes, support groups and training seminars.
Pettitt said in June of the coming year, the grant that has been able to provide the hospital with the money for the nursing camp will be over. However, the hospital will be reapplying.