PIKEVILLE – Checking vital signs isn’t something a middle school student typically learns during their summer vacation. For 13 students from Breathitt County, learning how to check blood pressure was among the activities nursing students from the University of Pikeville Elliott School of Nursing had planned as part of a “scrubs camp.”
The camp is organized each year by Breathitt County and Jackson Independent school districts for incoming sixth through ninth grade students.
“Our goal each year is to expose middle school students to various health careers. Doing this early empowers students to set goals for high school and beyond,” said Dixie Combs, youth services center coordinator at Sebastian Middle School.
Second-year nursing students and faculty planned a day of fun activities to teach the youngsters about nursing. Middle school students participated in hands-on activities including wound care; mobility such as turning and positioning in bed, patient ambulation, crutch-walking and use of a walker; physical examination; and checking vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, pulse and oxygen saturation.
“When younger students are exposed to the many responsibilities of a registered nurse they can envision a future career in healthcare and realize the importance of doing well in school if they wish to pursue such a career,” said Mary Rado Simpson, dean of the Elliott School of Nursing. “Our nursing students enjoyed the challenge of making the information fun and interacting with the middle schools students.”