Nurse Camp

Nurse Camp


Tacoma General Hospital put on Nurse Camp last week. An event where high school students get the rare opportunity to shadow working nurses in the hospital, as well as learn much of what nurses do and are responsible for at the facility. Hundreds of students applied and only one hundred were accepted after the selection process was all done. However, before even the selected were allowed to partake, they had to fill out gobs of paperwork, attend orientations, and get their immunizations up-to-date. Having to put in all that work before even getting to experience nurse camp lets you know that these students really wanted to be there, learn, and find out if nursing was a profession they’d be interested in pursuing.

The nursing crew, wanting some quality photos of the event, asked if I would be available to capture it for them. Granted I’m that last one who wants to be in a hospital and be reminded of sickness and death on a regular basis, not to mention I can’t watch a needle go into my own skin without passing out, I was relieved to find out that the event would just be exercises on dummies and pig parts.

I covered two days of the week’s events. One spent shooting photos, and then a mix of stills and video on the second. My 5D mkII is capable of shooting full 1080 HD video, making it easy to switch back and fourth from shooting stills and video with the same hardware. I’ll be editing together a video using both the photos and video this week, so check back for that release later on.

It was an extremely informative event, even I learned how to properly scrub, grown, and prep patients, all while shooting the kids. Holding the camp couldn’t be a better idea for generating interests in nursing, a field where there is a huge shortage. All of the stations they had setup for the students were engaging and the kids had fun.

The students learned to suture on pig hearts and livers. I don’t even do well handling raw chicken when cooking, so I just focused on framing my shots and not what the kids where working on, and tried not to look at the random animal parts.

The students also got a tour of the operating room floor, peek through windows as patients were in operation, and enter one of the unused operating rooms and see how some of the equipment works. Now, I didn’t arrive in scrubs like the students and the OR floor is a sterile environment, so I had to “hop” into what everyone there lovingly refers to as a bunny suit. You’ll see why in the picture below, that’s me in a giant ‘onesie,’ complete with booties.

This was an awesome event that Multicare put on, and a great opportunity for students to get hands-on with the very things they would be tasked with if they do indeed enter the nursing field. I’m glad I was able to document the event for them, generating some good material to help advertise the nurse camp event for years to come.