Nurses from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC), the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (86th AES), 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, and the 30th Medical Brigade (30th MED BDE) participated in a Health and Human Service Academy Career Fair at Ramstein High School to educate students about nursing and the career opportunities it offers, May 4.
"Being a nurse is an incredibly rewarding career. You get to help people during some of the most difficult times of their lives, and you really make a difference," said (U.S. Air Force) Maj. Melissa Simpson, a flight nurse for the 86th AES who has worked as a military nurse for 13 years.
(U.S. Air Force) Lt. Col. Richard Crocker, a nurse anesthetist for the 86th AES, emphasized the crucial role that nurses play in the healthcare industry and shared stories about his experiences at LRMC.
"I've had the privilege of working with some amazing patients who have taught me so much about resilience and perseverance," said Crocker, who has over 25 years in nursing.
The nurses also discussed the various specialties within nursing, such as critical care and pediatrics, and explained the educational requirements necessary to become a nurse, including obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. In addition, medical equipment was available for students to examine.
"As a student aspiring to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist, having these medical professionals visit our school was incredibly valuable. It's one thing to read about nursing careers online, but to hear directly from those in the field and have a one-on-one experience with them is truly personalized and informative," said Ramstein High School student Emma Cavanagh.
The nurses demonstrated various techniques, tools, and answered questions from the students while providing advice for those interested in pursuing a nursing career.
"Nursing offers limitless opportunities in teaching, research, and direct patient care. Compassion is key, so choose the right medical profession for the right reasons," said Lori McCormick, a labor and delivery nurse and Forensic Healthcare Program Care Coordinator at LRMC, who has been in the nursing field for 25 years.
Ramstein High School student Favian Pierre-Louis emphasized the importance of having medical commands visit their school. "A bunch of kids at this school are still trying to figure out what they want to do and they either have misconceptions about the medical field or are still trying to learn about it," Pierre-Louis said. "There are some things that you can't really learn here at school itself, and it's good to talk to people who actually go through that experience and are in that work field."