Tioga high schoolers spend a day in the life of nurses

Kaitlyn Roberts helped save a life Tuesday.

Roberts, a junior at Tioga High School, took her simulated experience of spine-boarding an injured patient for transport very seriously during her Future Nurses Day Field Trip at Louisiana Christian University on Tuesday.

Roberts is the kind of person you want to be your nurse—even though it was a day of simulated experiences, she treated each situation as a real person in a life-and-death scenario.

She recognizes that in her chosen future profession, her actions could be the difference between life and death at any given time.

About 50 students and their Anatomy and Physiology II teacher Melissa Porter, who is the adviser to the Tioga Future Nurses of Louisiana Club, spent the day on LCU’s campus participating in workshops and skills simulations.

“We had to walk through a real-life situation with a pregnant patient and figure out her problem,” Roberts said. “And we had to get a patient on a spinal stretcher and use teamwork to protect their spinal column and roll them onto the stretcher.”

Roberts said spine-boarding was her favorite activity, and she said she enjoyed feeling like she was learning what it would really be like as a nurse.

Future Nurses of Louisiana was created by LCU faculty Dr. Shaina Goudeau,  associate vice president of the School of Nursing and Allied Health, and Dr. Tomekia Luckett, dean of Nursing, in collaboration with Porter.  The goal of the FNL club is to connect with high school students in 10-12th grades who have expressed an interest in a career in nursing or a healthcare-related field following high school graduation.

“FNL allows faculty to serve as mentors while guiding students through activity-based learning opportunities,” Goudeau said. “We are engaging students in hands-on skills, simulated clinical experiences, and offering exposure to various aspects of healthcare occupations. “

Students were divided into three groups before being immersed in enrichment activities that reinforced their understanding of the fields of nursing, physical therapy/physical therapist assisting, and exercise science.

Braylen Burd, a Tioga junior, said he is seriously considering LCU to study nursing after this experience.

“It helped me get a feel for it and understand this is what I want to do through these real-life experiences,” he said. “My favorite part was working with patient simulation and checking vital signs.”

Porter said the students loved getting out of their classroom and into the field to study nursing.

“I think this gives them an insight into what to expect, what the classrooms look like, what professors look like, the students that are here and it gives them an idea of the different fields of nursing and PTA that they can go into and see what they like,” Porter said. “It gives them an excitement of what to expect in their futures.”

Healthcare activities during the day included CPR training, transfer training, gait training, nursing simulation, and spine boarding, all of which were overseen by LCU faculty and PTA students.

Faculty/staff assisting with the on-campus event were Crystal Nelson, Dr. Nic Philpot, Dr. Tomekia Luckett, Dr. Shaina Goudeau, Eve Desselle, and Cheryl Bullock.

LCU Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing are accepting applications for admittance into the newly restructured program. The innovative program was approved by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing in April and launches in 2024.

The new program will not only align with the Next Generation NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) to adapt to the evolving demands of the healthcare system and to better assess students’ clinical judgment skills, but it will also be offered in a nontraditional method based on new higher education trends.