Scrubs Camps ‘grow’ health care workers
Agriculture isn’t the only North Dakota industry that’s working to grow a crop. The Center for Rural Health is hoping the state’s next crop of health professionals is home-grown through its Rural Collaborative Opportunities for Occupational Learning in Health (R-COOL-Health) Scrubs Camp program.
Center-Stanton students recently joined more than 100 fellow eighth graders in Hazen at a Scrubs Camp health careers event, one of 10 held throughout the state as a part of a campaign to increase awareness, interest, and understanding of health careers available in rural North Dakota.
“Research has shown that growing your own is an effective way of meeting rural health care workforce needs,” says Lynette Dickson, MS, RD, LRD, program director at the Center for Rural Health. “These camps are great examples of how community organizations can work collaboratively to inspire local youth to pursue a career in health care.”
The current and projected shortage of health care professionals in North Dakota and across the nation is creating a critical emand for an increased health care workforce. A national shortage of at least 124,000 physicians and 500,000 nurses is projected by 2025. Scrubs Camp offered hands-on experiences and opportunities for students to learn about health career tracks such as public health; emergency medicine; nursing; physical, respiratory and occupational therapy; social work; health informatics; and pharmacy.
Even though the career tracks remained the same as in the past, new hands-on experiences were added to the tried and true, such as attentiongrabbing the walk-through colon that showed students the types of abnormalities a doctor looks for when performing a colonoscopy.