Sumner students get hands-on nurse training

Jaime Lange (right) works with a fellow student to suture a pig leg.

How many teenagers can say they’ve sutured pig legs, handled robotic surgery equipment or watched open heart surgery? Sumner high school student Jaime Lange can, after participating MultiCare Health System’s 11th annual Nurse camp this past week.

“Some people got to see a baby being born yesterday. I got to work with a med-surg (medical surgical) nurse,” she said. “It’s just so cool and amazing to see behind the scenes what happens. Like going in an OR (operating) room; I’m not sure a lot of people can say they did that.”In addition to learning hands-on techniques for providing care for patients, students also shadowed professionals who worked in  emergency, critical care, labor and delivery, physical therapy and other units and departments.

The camp began in 2003 and graduated 30 students. This year the camp graduated 107 students July 25.

Lange said she was inspired to apply by her sister, who attended nurse camp a few years ago.

Program coordinator Cara Koch said, “By the end of the camp we hope to have inspired these students to become MultiCare nurses or allied health professionals within the next five to seven years.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing expects there will be a shortage of registered nurses in the near future. In the 2012-2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics employment projections report there will be a need for more than a million nurses by the year 2022.

In an 2013 anonymous survey of 153 nurse camp graduates, 80 percent responded that they had attended a recent Nurse Camp and are enrolled in a nursing degree program.