Program aims to inspire students to pursue medical careers
Students from nine schools in Georgetown and Horry counties got an inside look at the medical field last week through a program offered by Tidelands Health.
About two dozen students participated in the health system’s Nurses Are Extraordinary program. In its second year, the event aims to inspire teens to pursue careers in medicine by giving them a behind-the-scenes look at what nurses and others on the health system’s medical team experience every day.
Georgetown County School District students spent Monday, June 11, on the campus of Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, while students from Horry County checked out Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital on Tuesday, June 12.
“We want to engage students and teach them about nursing early,” said Busy Kimball, the health system’s talent acquisition manager. “So often they only see one type of nurse. We want to make sure they see all the options.”
The students, some with stethoscopes from event welcome bags around their necks, checked out the inner workings of the hospitals, chatted with nurses and toured a medical flight helicopter and the patient area of an ambulance. They also had hands-on experience learning and practicing on a manikin how to use an automated external defibrillator – or AED - and perform CPR to potentially save a life.
That was Neptali Herrera’s favorite part of the day. The Nurses Are Extraordinary experience only confirmed what Neptali already knows: he wants to pursue a career in the medical field as a nurse practitioner. The student at Horry County’s Academy for Technology and Academics picked his career path several years ago after nurses left a lasting impression on him with the level of care they provided a loved one.
Also participating were students from Waccamaw High School, Andrews High School, Georgetown High School, Conway High School, Carolina Forest High School, St. James High School, Socastee High School and the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology.
“All the doctors and nurses treated him (my loved one) real nice. I’m just thankful for the doctors and nurses helping him,” Neptali said after scoring well administering chest compressions on the manikin during the Tidelands Health program. “I’ve always been convinced that I want to pursue a medical career. By doing this, I can help people and meet new people, too.”
The students, wearing navy blue program T-shirts and some donning scrub pants, also navigated the hospital hallways with stops at the lab, pharmacy, imaging department, critical care unit and other spots.
“I want to do something in the medical field, but I don’t know what,” Gabrielle Moree, a rising senior at Andrews High School, said after touring Tidelands Georgetown. “This gives us a nice idea of what goes on in every department.”