Inspiring the future of healthcare

WILLISTON, N.D. - Current healthcare employees remind us that it is never too early to recruit, especially because western North Dakota is in need of more healthcare workers.

Professionals and high school students are encouraging sixth through eighth grade students to look into the possibility of taking up a career in the healthcare industry at the Scrubs Camp in Williston. Passionate promoters of the event say places like Williston, Watford City, Tioga, and Stanley are in dire need of healthcare workers.

This is the 10th year this event has been held in North Dakota, and they say it's proven to be a cornerstone in some young adult's decisions to take on a role in the field of health.

"We've had students contact us and say,'hey, that scrubs camp that I went to in eighth grade was the first time I really thought about going into nursing, and now I'm a registered nurse, and I'm thinking about going on to be a Nurse Practitioner.' So those are the cool stories that we love to hear,” said Kylie Nissen, senior project coordinator at UND Center for Rural Health.

These young adults are getting a realistic look at healthcare professions in areas such as dentistry, massage therapy, and optometry, but also an in-depth look at some health issues. A topic of interest was the long and short-term effects vaping has on the body.

Some students here say that getting a real look at these professions has encouraged them.

Seventh-grader Kloe Shaw says she’s interested in massage therapy.

"Seeing like, how like the people it helps, and like knowing that it's going to like help their bodies and heal them in some sort of way. That really helped reassure me that this would be a good career option for me," Shaw said.

Job Service's March job report shows that in Williston and surrounding areas, there are currently 184 Healthcare Practitioners and Technical positions open.