WDT hopes to inspire the next generation of medical workers

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 6:43 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Last year South Dakota saw more than 2,500 nurses leave the workforce according to the Associated Press. Now people need those healthcare workers more than before.

Long hours and the fear of getting infected during the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in causing nurses to leave the field more than usual. The American Nurses Association estimates the nurse shortage will continue growing by 11% through 2022.

Four factors contribute to the nursing shortage according to Southern New Hampshire University:

  • Retiring nurses or nurses that choose to leave the profession
  • The aging population necessitates increasing the level of care patients require
  • Nursing faculty shortage
  • Nursing burnout

Usually, when people hear about the nursing shortage it’s common to think about practicing nurses. But the shortage also extends to educators and Tuesday’s Scrubs Camp at South Dakota Technical College was trying to change those numbers a little by motivating some of the next generations of nurses.

“Many of our students don’t have mentors within the health care field,” said Western Dakota Technical College director of admissions Diana Newman. “Maybe they experienced that once or twice but being able to expose them to what might be their passion and their calling is so important so that they know what’s out there.”

She added that it’s critical for students to get hands-on experience earlier in order to be able to jumpstart their curiosity in a field as tough as the medical one.