by Leah Hyatt
As many students began their summer activities, 16 high school students
prepared for a possible future in health care at MUSC’s Nursing Your
Career Summer Nursing Camp. For the eighth year, MUSC and the
Charleston County School District’s (CCSD) School-to-Careers program
have worked together to provide this opportunity to local high school
students. In the three-day camp, June 16-18, students had the
opportunity to develop their interests in nursing and learn new skills
that are important in the health care field.
Long, left, director of student and alumni affairs, MUSC College of
Nursing, shares her knowledge with students to encourage them to
consider a career path in nursing.
The camp aimed to attract students to nursing and give them suggestions
about what they can do in high school to gain relevant skills and
choose courses that will prepare them to enter nursing or other health
care professions. The camp hoped to encourage students to pursue
careers in nursing in order to help alleviate the statewide and
national nursing shortage.
The students participated in many activities from attending
presentations, completing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training
and receiving certification, and shadowing nurses in two, two-hour
experience rotations. The camp ended with a closing ceremony and
reception at the Colbert Education Center & Library in which the
students received stethoscopes.
Activities in the MUSC Health Care Simulation Center in the College of
Nursing gave high school students hands-on experience. In the lab,
participants honed basic skills such as drawing blood, tracheotomy care
and suctioning, and infection control measures such as hand washing and
using personal protective equipment (PPE).
Island High School student Tabatha Hayes receives a stethoscope from
camp coordinator Yvonne Martin to mark the completion of nursing camp.
Parents were invited to the June 18 closing ceremony and reception
which took place in the Colbert Education Center & Library.
The students then applied their new knowledge while shadowing nurses in
various units of the hospital such as transplant, antepartum, trauma,
neuroscience intensive care, digestive disease, surgical oncology and
emergency department areas. They observed nurses using computers and
medical equipment and also asked nurses questions about their careers
and education. Campers considered this part of nursing camp both fun
and interesting. Interested in radiology and pediatrics, Jessie
Jeffcoat, a Wando High School student, saw a pain pump being
administered to a patient and was able to translate the simulation lab
experience to her shadowing rotations. Lindsay King, West Ashley High
School, shadowed in the Emergency Department and found it insightful.
She enjoyed learning about all of the career options in health care.
Camp coordinators emphasized professionalism in nursing. Attending a
session about job shadowing etiquette, writing thank-you notes to
program nurses, and observing on-the-job interaction between nurses and
patients, students experienced professionalism necessary in health
The program curriculum also valued communication skills just as much as
science and math skills within the profession. Nurses interact daily
with patients, families and colleagues. Developing professionalism and
communication skills along with studying math and science prepares
youth for a career in the health care industry.
Diane Spriggs, mother of camper Cara Spriggs, who attends Charleston
Charter School for Math and Science, said she thought this camp was a
good idea for any student to gain career experiences. Her daughter is
interested in pharmacy and was admitted to the biology career track at
Yvonne Martin, R.N., MUSC nurse retention & community outreach
coordinator, attributes the success of this year’s camp to the efforts
of all involved.
“We could not have done it without the help of the volunteers who
staffed the Skills Lab; the nurse managers who allowed the students to
job shadow on their units; and the speakers who provided students with
inspiring stories and insightful information on careers in nursing and
health care,” said Martin. “I would especially like to thank the nurses
who were so welcoming to the students when they arrived on the units.
Their support and encouragement exemplifies MUSC Excellence.”
Friday, July 17, 2009