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Students get a push toward medicine

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Posted by Tyler Bell; Williston Herald

Williston State College hosted a scrubs camp Tuesday in a bid to get young people interested in medical fields.

"There's a shortage for the health care profession in North Dakota," said Melissa Meyer, a career advisor with Great Northwest Educational Cooperative.

Meyer wrote the grant for the Scrubs Day initiative and spearheaded the project. She's not a health care professional, she's just a career advisor, but she still thinks the initiative is a step toward solving the hiring issue.

"I think it's a great experience for these kids," she said. "Knowledge is power. I hope this is something they'd like to do in the future."

"[It's] an opportunity to get kids into health care," said Pat Axtman, health care instructor at Williston High School. Axtman became a registered nurse 33 years ago, and has been teaching health care at the high school for 15 years.

Twenty-seven of her students came to the event, and four of them were presenters at the automated external defibrillator station.

There were 12 different stations at the event: Emergency services, therapy modalities; teeth, mouth and gum injury; circulatory system, respiratory system, massage, eye injuries, tobacco, speech pathology, certified RN anesthesia, AED and nutrition.

"We're just kind of chaperones for each group," Axtman said, referring to her and the other teachers. "My kids are actually teaching them how to put an AED on."

"The four of us are teaching the seventh-graders how to use an AED and you use an AED," said Shelby Hanson, a Williston High School senior.

Hanson and three other WHS seniors, Carton Roggenbuck, Chelsea Allen and Courtney Edwards, led the AED class. They taught students how and when to apply the device, which uses electrical charges to restart a person's heart during tachycardia.

"We're certified in CPR and first aid," she said. "Our teacher actually asked us to come demonstrate this."

Hanson won't be going into medical field, however, at least as far as human beings are concerned. She plans on going to veterinary school after college.

Regardless, she enjoyed the event and thinks her students did, too.

"I think it's gone great, and I think we've kept them doing fun activities," she said.