Rugby, N.D. – About 52 eighth-grade students will take part in a Rural Collaborative Opportunities for Occupational Learning in Health (R-COOL-Health) Scrubs Camp April 5 at Heart of America Medical Center (HAMC).
The Scrubs Camp is an opportunity for students to learn about the many local rural healthcare career options available. The camps offer creative, interactive activities with hands-on experiences in several health career tracks. This year HAMC will offer a session on telemedicine. Students will gain firsthand experience in how this technology is benefitting rural healthcare.
R-COOL-Health Scrubs Camps are in their 10th year and take place in 11 cities across North Dakota. They are funded by the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the North Dakota Area Health Education Centers. The schools, healthcare facilities, and economic or job development authorities partner to increase collaborations and awareness of the economic impact of healthcare in North Dakota.
“Research has shown that growing your own is an effective way of meeting rural healthcare workforce needs,” said Lynette Dickson, associate director at the CRH. “These camps are great examples of how community organizations can work collaboratively to inspire local youth to pursue careers in healthcare.”
Organizations collaborating in the effort include Dakota Eye Institute, Rugby Public Schools, Rugby Emergency Medical Services, Rugby Dental, and the Rugby Job Development Authority.
The current and projected shortage of healthcare professionals in North Dakota and across the nation is creating a critical demand for an increased healthcare workforce. A national shortage of at least 124,000 physicians and 500,000 nurses is projected by 2025.