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What does an average day look like for nurses at Lourdes Health System? Eighteen children from Burlington and Camden counties found out last month during the Lourdes Nursing Camp.

After submitting a letter of recommendation and personal essay, children between the ages of 12 and 17 were selected to spend the day learning about life in a hospital.

“We started this program to give children exposure,” says Doreen McCay, organizer of the event. “We gave them the chance to see what it’s like for the day-in-the-life of a healthcare professional.”

The day started with icebreakers from Renee Pinardo, director of youth empowerment program The Bridge, followed by operating room tours, mother-baby unit demonstrations, emergency room sessions and more guided exploration of the hospital. Participants even got to take each other’s blood pressures.

But McCay’s favorite part is how the kids change by the end of the day. “At first, they’re shy or awkward,” she says. “But by the time they leave, they have all these new friends, are more comfortable and excited.”

McCay says she hopes more camps will be planned for the future.

 

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