More than 100 students from 47 high schools throughout south King County and Pierce and Thurston counties will participate in MultiCare Health System’s fifth annual Nurse Camp beginning July 29 by learning firsthand from doctors and nurses about careers in nursing and healthcare.
MultiCare, whose network of clinics includes one in Covington, will open its clinics and hospitals for the students during the four-day event that’s co-sponsored by the Washington Health Foundation and Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company.
The students, who hail from Covington and elsewhere, will shadow healthcare providers as they care for patients in emergency departments, intensive care, surgery and inpatient units at Tacoma General Hospital, Allenmore Hospital and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Center.
Students will use the daVinci surgical robot and learn other surgical skills such as stapling, suturing and scrubbing. One of the most popular activities is a “skittlectomy,” in which simulate surgery by removing candy from a mannequin with surgical tools. Students will also earn their CPR certification.
The goal of MultiCare employees is “to pass on their passion” for taking care of patients and to encourage students “to consider pursuing a career in healthcare,” said Liesl Santkuyl, MultiCare’s community outreach liaison.
The students will also hear about issues facing nursing today, such as the ongoing nursing shortage, Santkuyl noted. On Aug. 1, the students will present potential solutions to a panel that will include state legislators.
In addition, the camp participants visit with healthcare students and instructors at Tacoma Community College, Clover Park Technical College and University of Washington-Tacoma.
MultiCare, a not-for-profit organization that started in 1882, operates four hospitals plus primary-care and urgent-care clinics at 93 locations in three counties.