July 17, 2018 : By Tobi Walsh-Laukaitis - Liberty University News Service
Liberty University School of Nursing (LUSON) Simulation Center Director Amber Bruffy and seven high school students crowded into an exam room.
“Can someone hit the light switch?” Bruffy asked.
As the room darkened, the students let out a scream of disgust as a black light revealed tiny germs and bacteria that are missed during a regular hand washing.
“I’m terrified to wash my hands the same way again,” a student declared.
Bruffy was tasked with showing the students the proper way to wash their hands at the medical level. It was just one of many activities that 35 high school students participated in on the first day of the School of Nursing’s summer camp.
The three-day camp, which started on Monday, gave high-schoolers from all over the country a chance to explore the nursing profession and see LUSON’s state-of-the-art facilities.
“This is a chance for them to try nursing out as a future profession,” said Executive Director of Clinical Affairs Dr. Kathryn Miller. “They can talk to me or other professors here at camp and see what it’s like to be a registered nurse. This brings amazing experiences right to these students as they’re getting ready to make huge life decisions (such as selecting a college or a degree program).”
The campers will learn how to measure vital signs, create a splint, build their own stethoscope, become CPR certified, and hear from various faculty members about their areas of expertise. On their last day, the group will even get their own set of scrubs.
“We decided this year to host nursing camp because we see a great need across the nursing profession,” LUSON Dean Shanna Akers said. “One way to close that deficiency is to reach out to the next generation.”
Akers said when most people think of nurses, they think of working in a hospital. But in reality, there are nurses in many different settings around the world, from the operating room to the mission field and community clinics.
For Joohee (Kate) Moon, a high school senior who is passionate about missions, this week was a chance to see what a career in medical missions could look like. Originally from South Korea, Moon learned about the camp through her school counselor at Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg.
“I was really interested in the camp because I love going on mission trips,” Moon said. “I had always heard that having a nursing job is really helpful (in missions). You can treat people and also share the Gospel with them.”
Incoming Liberty freshman Mary Sochor used the camp as an opportunity to preview what the next four years in the nursing program would look like. Sochor was inspired to become a nurse by her mother, who was a nurse.
“I’ve always wanted to help people and care for them in their time of need,” Sochor said. “It’s been great seeing what it’s going to be like when I start in the fall. It’s good to see that you have a lecture and how they break you into clinical groups so you can focus on what you’ve learned and gain hands-on experience.”
Miller said it’s a blessing to be able to share the resources LUSON has to reach the next generation of nurses.
“I’m just amazed at the students and their families who made the effort to make Lynchburg their family vacation choice so their student could come to nursing camp,” Miller said. “I’m excited to see the students excited.”