Recruiting efforts begin early in health professions

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Martha Holt attends her retirement party after 35 years as a nurse. The profession just lost another good person.    " We need a lot of people to take the place of my age group. Nursing has been so good to me, " said Holt.

Holt's testimony could influence two young women to enter into nursing. But a health career camp sponsored by the Piney Woods Area Health Education Center is teaching them about all the other possibilities too. Camp director Susan Neel said,  " There are more than 100 positions out there that we don't even think of. "

Take for instance an operating room the students visited.  LVN Shawn Fitzgerald counted,  " Four total. The doctor, the cra, the RN's and the scrub techs." And there's a demand for each of the jobs. Beth Knight recruits new personnel for Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. She knows,  " With the baby boomer population we're all going to be needing health care. "

Watching an operation for the first time may be what it takes to convince the high school studetns to enter medicine.   Hopefully it won't be the last operating room for Samantha Whitelock. She wants to be a surgeon. She made the decision while growing up in rural East Texas.  " People who work in my area, like in the forestry business, they get hurt a whole lot and we need doctors to surgeons who are able to help them faster, " said the Buna High School student.

That caring attitude is a bonus when so many new health professionals are mostly after the money. Holt advised, " Don't come to nursing if you just want a paycheck. Come to nursing if you love people. " The advice from someone who knows, is directed to those who will listen.