Nurse Camp Offers Unique View



Through the course of four days of hands-on learning, 33 students from across Solano County got an up-close look at the nursing profession during the 14th annual NorthBay Nurse Camp in June.

"This is pretty cool," said camper Hunter Freeman, 16, of Dixon, after participating in a mock trauma scenario using a training manikin. "I mean, you know it's different in a real life situation, but they act like it's real. It is just such a great experience."

The students, selected from 89 applicants, got a chance to give injections to oranges, intubate a training manikin, thread a catheter through a tube, perform CPR on a trauma "patient," deliver a simulated baby and much more. It was a broad-based look at the many options available in nursing care and organizers called the event, now in its 14th year, a huge success.

One of those helping during the camp was Alyssa Haddox, a recent CSU Bakersfield nursing graduate who is, herself, an alum of Nurse Camp, and whose grandmother, retired NorthBay nurse Mary Hempen, helped to create Nurse Camp.

"It's really something special. You get to go through multiple things like the ER, ICU, OR and NICU and you see the nurses and their passion and love for what they do," she said. "It's inspiring and so cool."

Chief Nursing Officer Traci Duncan greeted the teens on the first day of the camp, saying, "I like that my job is different every day. Nursing is a great career and looking back, I wouldn't have done anything different."

The event was a huge hit with the students.

"I love Nurse Camp because I get to meet all of these new people and experience all new things," said Rebekah Lowe, 17, of Vacaville. "This is something I've wanted to do since I was little and it's finally becoming a reality."

It was a hit with the dozens of nurses who helped to put the camp on, as well.

"I like watching their reactions. It's awesome to see the awe and wonder on their faces," said Kim Williamson, R.N., director of cardiology services. "It reminds you of why you went into what you do. It recharges you."