VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - As Cardiothorasic Vascular Nurse Practitioners Pam Powell and Kelly Blackmon looked at pictures of a patient's heart Tuesday afternoon, they knew that they would soon be doing it with a VSU nursing student by their side thanks to the new cardiovascular intern program scheduled to begin at SGMC on May 1st.
It's the first of its kind at the hospital.
"To provide a two day emersion program here at the Dasher Memorial Heart Center to encourage them to consider their nursing career in the cardiovascular field," said SGMC CEO Randy Sauls, as he explained the purpose of the program.
As of Tuesday, the intern program was only open to nursing students in their final semester at VSU. The hospital planned to offer the two day session six times a year, and start by only accepting one student per session.
Powell said she and Blackmon were very excited to start working with the students. "It's much easier for somebody to say, 'hey, that's what I'm interested in doin' when I graduate and get done with nursing school'," Powell emphasized.
Blackmon said they plan to emphasizes to the students just how much work nurses have to do. "Nurses don't merely just follow orders. We continually assess and teach and coach and mentor the families," Blackmon pointed out.
Starting in June, one business CEO a month will have an opportunity to shadow doctors and surgeons in the cardiology department for a day. "It's an opportunity for us as healthcare providers to share the story of how healthcare is provided here in our community and where their healthcare dollars go locally," Sauls explained.
Sauls said the hospital had already notified the Valdosta Chamber of Commerce about the opportunity and as of Tuesday the program had already sparked a lot of interest.