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Scouts zero in on nursing

March 28, 2011

By Jennifer Swartz
The Daily Reflector
Monday, March 28, 2011

About 120 Scouts attended an interactive career event Saturday at East Carolina University that zeroed in on nursing.

Sponsored by the ECU Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society for nursing and the school's College of Nursing, Scout Out Nursing, held every other year at the nursing school on the West Campus off West Fifth Street, aimed to address the nation's predicted nursing shortage and offer a chance for Scouts to earn patches and badges.

Games, crafts, first aid primers and a chance to learn what the heart and lungs sound like were just a small part of the offerings as Scouts rotated every 20 minutes through rooms featuring surgery, military field operations, midwifery, history and other themes.

"What we're trying to do is encourage the young people to enter the profession of nursing," Gina Woody, an assistant clinical professor at ECU's College of Nursing, said. "There's many different avenues nurses can take."

"Kids need a realistic understanding of what nursing is," said Elaine Scott, president of the Beta Nu chapter of Sigma Theta Tau who said television often offers unrealistic portrayals of medicine.

"We really want them to see what nurses do, and we want diversity in nursing," she said.

Eagle Scout and first-semester undergraduate nursing student John Berger, one of about 75 faculty and student volunteers, said he was happy to help teach fellow Scouts.

"It's been awesome," he said. "The kids seem to really enjoy it. They learn a lot. A lot of them know a lot more than you might think about first aid."

Marisa Crisp, 10, a fifth-grader from Ridgewood Elementary School, was intrigued by the past's most influential nurses.

"I think it's really cool to learn the history of the nurses, learning about the different people who are nurses," she said.

Fellow Troop 463 member Bobbie Kochlin, 11, said she was inspired by obstetrics, for the chance it offered to bring life into the world, but was equally drawn to trauma.

"It saves people's lives," she said.