MRHC hosted 24 students and five faculty from Exira-EHK Schools for a Healthcare Career Camp on Thursday, March 30th to introduce students to healthcare careers, tour the facility, and participate in simulations and hands-on activities.
Like many rural hospitals, MRHC and local ambulance crews continue to see a shortage in medical staff and EMT volunteers. Both ambulance staffing and provider shortages were listed as top five unmet needs in the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment.
“Recruitment to the healthcare field continues to be a challenge, so we want to spark an interest in students starting with middle school and high school-age students,” shared MRHC Chief Nursing Officer, Michelle Andersen, RN, BSN.
During the Healthcare Career Camp, students stopped at six stations throughout the hospital to learn more about different roles of healthcare, the variety of healthcare fields, and useful skills to utilize after leaving. Over lunch, the Recovery Center, HIM & finance staff provided information regarding different jobs and services in those areas. The other stations included:
Carroll County Ambulance
MRHC staff set up a scenario in which an ambulance was called to the scene of a grain bin fall or ATV rollover. EMTs shared first aid measures that would be conducted at the scene of the accident: how to apply pressure to wounds (stop the bleed), support for the limbs, and how to limit exposure. Responders talked about their role and how they would assist with transfer to a medical facility. The groups toured an ambulance and learned about the ambulance crew’s duties.
In this station, a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, and respiratory therapist followed a Trauma Nursing Process (TNP) with a manikin. Students learned a variety of things that would happen in emergency situations including IV or IO access, medication from the pyxis, confidentiality and HIPPA and regulations, intubation, CPR/LUCAS device, and more.
Laboratory and Radiology
Students toured both departments and were able to draw blood through an IV manikin and viewed samples under the microscope in the lab. In the radiology department they took x-rays of a bone while wearing lead aprons and learned about CT scan and MRI capabilities.
This station featured the job responsibilities performed by a surgeon, anesthesiologist, and surgery techs. Students had hands-on experiences working in a sterile environment, donning/doffing surgical garb, suturing a skin, and dissecting a heart.
Family Practice Clinic, Specialty Clinic, and Infection Control
In this session, students learned about the follow-up process with providers after an injury. Students were able to see the teamwork and integration that happens between multiple departments within the hospital. The tour started in the Family Practice Clinic where students learned about proper hand washing techniques, practiced giving a flu shot on oranges, and listened to a patient’s breathing.
Clinic staff shared information about medication management and each of their roles, as well as the career paths taken to get to those positions. The students also toured the Specialty Clinic where they were able to cut a cast and remove staples.
Therapy Department and First Aid
During this rotation, students took a tour of the therapy department where many follow-up services, provided by physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, occur. Students then filled a first aid kit and learned how each item should be used. The groups discussed their perspectives of the camp and had a chance to ask any follow-up questions regarding the schooling necessary for healthcare careers they were interested in.
When asked what their favorite part of the camp was, students shared, “I liked surgery because I learned a lot and was able to have conversations with the ladies in there. I also liked the lab – it was cool.” “My day was amazing, and I really had fun in every situation. The best was the ambulance where you would help the person in the ambulance.” “I liked all the hands-on activities.” “My favorite part was seeing all the different jobs in the healthcare field.” “I liked taking out stitches and talking about different specialties.”
When asked if they would recommend this experience to other classmates, students shared that they definitely would. “This was an awesome experience – very educational.” “This was eye opening and a good experience to know what you want to do. The knowledge and experience were key.” “This was very informative about the different areas of healthcare and helpful to understand health professions. I learned a lot and had fun.” “If you are interested in healthcare, it’s for you. It was very informative and the hands-on was extremely fun.”
Exira-EHK 6-12 School Guidance Counselor, Sara Mayes, echoed the students’ responses about the effectiveness of the event by saying, “The trip to the Manning hospital was a great experience! The students really enjoyed all the stations and the experiences offered. I wish every student could participate in a hands-on experience like this!!”
“It takes an organized team to run this busy day, but it is SO worth it to see the students’ eyes widen with the endless opportunities that are presented to them! We continue to add more hands-on activities and look forward to offering this camp to more students in the future,” shared MRHC Education Coordinator, Julie Hodne, RN.
MRHC will host IKM-Manning students on Thursday, April 27th for the next Healthcare Career Camp. Those interested in participating can contact their school guidance counselors and schools interested in partnering to offer this experience should contact Michelle Andersen at (712) 655-8220.