Over a dozen students wore dark blue scrubs and had tired eyes on July 18 at Auburn Medical Center.
Shortly after getting their daily assingments, all of the students went off to their departments. That saw Favour Ayemere, 15-year-old Decatur High School student, off to the medical surgery ward where her tired smile met with her nurse companion for the day, Elizabeth Dangley in the medicine room grabbing pills for patients.
Shadowing nurses for the week had clearly been a tiring experience, but a good one.
Ayemere, about to enter her junior year at Decatur High School, is thinking about following in her family’s footsteps as a nurse.
Her sister is currently studying nursing at Washington State University and her mom’s chosen profession is also nursery, so this camp gave Ayemere the perfect opportunity to explore if this field is right for her, too.
Though at 15-years-old, she still has plenty of time to think about what she wants her life to look like. But that doesn’t mean she can’t explore the health care field to help her get a little closer.
MultiCare Health held a Nurse Camp from July 15-19 to give high school students the opportunity to explore nursing as a potential career option.
This camp took place all over the state, with local students spending their time at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center and at Green River College for hands-on activities.
July 18, the last day of the camp before the career fair and graduation ceremony, Ayemere spent the day at Auburn Medical Center in the medical surgery ward. She followed nurses and watched how they care for patients, and did other hands-on activities like participating in faux surgery to see what being a real nurse would be like.
She said all of the students practiced how to do CPR correctly and how to properly draw blood and clean wounds.
Ayemere said if she does continue into the nursing field, she thinks she’d like to work with kids.
“I didn’t really get to job shadow [that area], so I’m hoping I get to learn more about that.”
Nancy Thompkins, community outreach liaison for MultiCare, said she loves what this program brings to high school students.
“It’s been pretty neat to see how much of an influence you can make on these kids,” she said, adding the program has been in place with MultiCare for 16 years.
Thompkins enjoyed seeing Ayemere learn and grow from this experience.
“She seems very inquisitive, she seems so open to learning,” Thompkins said. “She really wants to get the information … She wants to know how to apply that information.”
On July 19, all 108 of the participants from different cities around the state gathered at Stadium High School in Tacoma to visit with different career and school booths to see what career options are in the healthcare field.
The ceremony took place in the theater of the high school, where students heard speakers talk about the incredible careers they’ve found in health care.
One of the speakers, Christina Guillen-Cook, who also happened to be Thompkins’ mentor when she first started in the nursing field, encouraged students to embrace hard work.
“There has been nothing in my life that I haven’t had to work hard for,” Guillen-Cook said.
Thompkins said people in this field find real success when they give to others without expecting to receive anything in return.
“I call it unconditional giving.”
Thompkins said the graduation ceremony was very similar to the ceremony nurses go through after they complete their schooling. The students were given certificates and pins for completing the program.
After she completed the program, Ayemere said she is sure she’d like a career in health care, though she’s still deciding exactly what area.
“I liked how you can go around and see how things actually work in the hospital,” said Ayemere, who hopes to attend either Washington State University or University of Washington after she graduates.
For more information about the free Nurse Camp program, visit www.multicare.org/nurse-camp.