High school students battle nursing shortage - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

High school students battle nursing shortage



December 10, 2002

Bainbridge - There's a shortage of workers to take your blood pressure, make hospital beds and immunize you against disease. Nurses are in high demand, so why not give students an early start to a future career?

Georgia has a severe nursing shortage. Decatur County District Health Director, Charles Taylor, says, "Not only Georgia, but I think all states are experiencing a great shortage of nursing."

Taylor blames the problem on supply and demand. He explains, "Folks getting older, having an older population demands more nurses."

It doesn't seem like there's a nursing shortage at Bainbridge High School. Students are preparing themselves for a career in the medical field. Student, Angela Andrews, says, "I wanted to start doing these classes because I want to become a doctor when I grow up."

Andrews is only 16-years-old, but she's learning how to take care of sick people. She admits she gets nervous. She says, "All the time, especially when I first started!"

She gets hands-on experience at a Bainbridge High School classroom, transformed into a hospital. Andrews says she has more respect for nurses. She explains, "Nurses don't get enough recognition. I didn't know they did things like making the bed, but you learn to work with it and make the best of it."

Students in Pam Prince's class learn how to move patients, clean and feed them. And who knows, maybe in the near future these eager students will help supply to decrease the demand.

Each student completes tests in the classroom and clinical hours at a long term care facility. Students can become nursing assistants while they are still in high school.

posted at 5:52PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com

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