TCC summer program getting young boys interested in nursing

Wednesday, July 28th 2004, 10:50 am
By: News On 6

Some Tulsa kids are getting a hands-on approach to what it takes to respond to a bioterrorism threat.

Its part of Camp Scrubs, a Tulsa Community College summer program designed to give young boys ages 10 to 13, a look at the possibilities of entering the nursing field. News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger explains.

"It came in the building, over the building!" They are the victims of a bioterrorism attack. Many of them have been exposed to mustard gas, a poisonous, lethal gas. The symptoms include blisters.

In this mock exercise, the first responders are 10 through 13 year olds. 10 year old Ryan McCall says the exercise was all too real. "For a minute you just froze and you're thinking, 'What's going on here? I think they're really hurt. Now, how do we treat it and let's share!"

The purpose of the Camp Scrubs is to expose young boys to the possibilities of a nursing career. Many believe "nursing" has a stigma of being a woman's profession but registered nurse Curtis Baker says that's simply not true. "There are approximately 5% to 6% of all nurse are male. It's a good field for men to get into. To me it's home, any other way."

And a profession young Ryan might not have known about if it hadn't been for the Camp Scrubs program. Now, he says he has more options.

30 states, including Oklahoma, report a shortage of registered nurses. The US Department of Labor projects a 21% increase in the demand for nurses around the time the Camp Scrubs students will decide on a career.