Two-day nursing camp introduces high school students to daily routine

Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing faculty member Marianne Schmitt, left, looks on as Jacob Hobson, of Troy, Mo., jokes with Jennifer Vaughn, second from right, and Elaina Meyer, right, as Hobson is lifted off the bed Thursday. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Posted: Jun. 12, 2014 7:20 pm Updated: Jun. 26, 2014 9:15 pm

By MATT HOPFHerald-Whig Staff Writer

Jacob Hobson laid down on the blue harness on a hospital bed. After some adjustments, faculty at Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing hooked the harness to a patient lift, and Hobson was slowly lifted off the bed.

The device helps move patients that are unable to get out of the bed themselves. He was moved a few feet in the device before being returned to the hospital bed.

Hobson was one of 15 high school students that took part in the two-day Explore Nursing camp that concluded Thursday. The camp allowed students to shadow Blessing Hospital nurses and get hands-on experience with computerized patient mannequins in the college's Simulation Center.

A junior at Troy Buchanan High School in Troy, Mo., Hobson said he enjoyed the experience -- even being in the lift.

"It was a lot of fun, and it taught us how the patients would feel in their positions," he said.

Brandi Smith, an assistant professor at the college, said the camp -- now in its second year -- gives students a chance to see the daily routine of nurses.

"A lot of times they get to nursing school, and they haven't ever been at the bedside," she said. "This gives an opportunity to see the bedside and understand what it takes to be a nurse and do a preliminary check (whether) that it is something they want to do."

Jennifer Vaughn, a Quincy Notre Dame High School senior, said she's considering nursing and liked experiencing the different duties.

"It's good to be able to experience a bunch of this stuff firsthand and be able to practice doing it and see what it's really like," she said. "The blood pressure was cool to try."

The students were able to learn some of the basic skills of nursing, like checking vitals, giving injections and restraining patients. The students were also given small scenarios along with student nurses involving the computerized mannequins.

The mannequins provide students life-like experience with patients, such one mannequin that simulates an infant born prematurely.

"He can breathe, and they can listen to his heart and lungs." Smith said. "He also has pulses like they would take on a real preemie baby. It cries. They can put an IV in it. If we had this baby go into respiratory distress and code, we could put a tube down its throat and practice doing that kind of stuff."

She said the simulations will allow the students to get comfortable at the bedside before they shadow nurses.

Mendon-Unity High School sophomore Elaina Meyer, who plans to study nursing after high school, said she enjoyed practicing giving injections. The students were allowed to give shots in simulated tissue, which Meyer found simple.

"It's surprising that it was actually easy," she said