The JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing hosted the 15thannual Nightingale Experience June 9-10 for area high school students interested in the nursing profession.

Lead by Lamar University faculty, staff and current nursing students, participants took part in various simulated, hands-on nursing skill events on both the Lamar campus and Christus Hospital-St. Elizabeth in Beaumont. Offered at no cost since its inception, this year’s event attracted over 40 participants.

“This is our 15th year for the event,” Gina Hale, Nightingale Experience Project Manager, said. “The event is sponsored and funded, in its entirety, by Christus Hospital-St. Elizabeth every year; the event is free for all high school students.”

Nederland High School senior Madison White inserts an IV catheter into a simulated arm at the Lamar University Nursing School Sim Lab, June 9, 2017, during the 15th-annual Nightingale Experience summer camp.

Nederland High School senior Madison White inserts an IV catheter into a simulated arm at the Lamar University Nursing School Sim Lab, June 9, 2017, during the 15th-annual Nightingale Experience summer camp.

Hale said that the attendees are academically motivated leaders who are nominated by their high school guidance counselors.

Students experienced a full training schedule consisting of events such as providing wound care, taking blood pressure, and giving medication through IV catheters in various settings, including emergency rooms and full-size hospital rooms. Inside the simulation lab wing, students had the opportunity to take an active role in a simulated birth.

“I just delivered a baby,” Natane Randall, a sophomore at West Brook High School in Beaumont, said. “This was so cool. It was exactly like they said it would be.”

Hale said that realistic training helps students get experience, but also stimulates their interest.

“The students get to experience a variety of hands on skills here at our School of Nursing, our learning center, and our high-fidelity simulation center,” Hale said. “The important thing is to give them a glimpse of the real thing, of nursing.”

Designed to expose prospective nursing students to real-world scenarios, as well as stimulate interest in the nursing profession, the annual affair has attracted over 500 students from area high schools. Many later attend Lamar University based upon the Nightingale Experience.

“I was interested in the (Lamar) nursing program, so I applied to the Nightingale Experience,” Port Arthur senior Chyna Dang said. “They took me around and showed me what it’s really like. It changed my perspective.”

In addition to real-world learning, the reputation of Lamar’s nursing program is attractive to students.

“I really didn’t know if I wanted to be in nursing,” Port Arthur senior Faiza Maredia said. “My high school guidance counsellor recommended I attend the Nightingale Experience. Why not? I have one of the best nursing programs in the country 10 minutes from my house. The Nightingale made me want to come to Lamar.”

For more information, contact Hale at 409-880-8835 or gina.hale@lamar.edu.

UP story package by Bill Warrington

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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