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Scrubs Camp inspire local students

Students from the surrounding Scranton and New England communities gathered at the Hettinger Armory this week for a day of health related fun and learning at Hettinger’s fourth Scrubs Camp. 

By Frank Turner

For Adams County and its surrounding rural communities, healthcare functions as a backbone, and Scrub’s Camp is just one way to keep the interest in healthcare alive in the youth. 

The Scrubs camp, lead by the Center for Rural Health and the Area Health Education (AHEC), was free for any student from the Scranton or Hettinger schools. According to WRHS RN, Community and Wellness Coordinator Patty Ness, the event was funded through both donations and a Center for Rural Health and AHEC grant. 

“This program’s purpose is to try to help a couple kids to pursue healthcare careers and encourage them to settle back in rural areas,” said Ness. 

Ten different local, health-related experts and professionals helped run the event. Each local professional either gave a presentation or lead hands-on activities involving their respective health field. 

The camp hosted a total of 73 students with ages ranging from ninth though eleventh grade. The 73 kids were broken up into small groups so that every student got a chance to engage with each hands-on activity and presentation. 

The camp even brought in a SIMS (Simulation in Motion) truck from Bismarck to highlight the ER nurse and paramedic career paths. In the simulation truck, students learned how to perform CPR and use an AED in a realistic environment, which simulated an emergency room.

“There was a life-like model that would actually respond to the kids while they did CPR,” said Ness.

Not every thing was simulation. With supervision, the students were able to practice different techniques on food items. Students practiced their syringe skills by injecting oranges. 

Education/Program Coordinator and ND HOSA State Advisor Katie Shahan and medical student Matt Gerving helped students practice surgery on real meat by suturing chicken breasts together. 

Veterinarian Dr. Lindy West even brought her dog so the students could learn about animal care with a live model. 

“I think exposing students to different professions and hands on activities at Scrubs Camp had a big impact,” said Shahan. “Letting the students have time with a hands-on activity while also letting them talk to a student in med school was really fun.”

Each health professional had their own station to engage the students involved in the camp. According to Ness, it was the health professionals and volunteers that made the event a success. 

“We had really great volunteers from both communities,” she said.

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