Rising eighth-graders wrapped up the WVU Tech Junior Nursing Academy with a CPR class at Raleigh General Hospital (RGH) last Thursday.

The three-day academy allowed 22 students from southern West Virginia, including 10 from Oak Hill Middle School, to immerse themselves in nursing experiences, such as mock delivery room and emergency trauma simulations. The group also learned about basic skills such as hospital hygiene, how to take vital signs and how to properly administer medications.

Crystal Sheaves, assistant professor and chairperson for WVU Tech School of Nursing, said she hopes the academy prompts students to continue exploring the medical field.

“We want them to walk away with a love for the nursing profession and a desire to go off to college,” Sheaves said.

Throughout the week, the group was taught by local health professionals at RGH, Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital (BARH) and the Erma Byrd Education Center.

Graclyn Tabit, 13, an eighth-grader at Oak Hill Middle School who comes from a family of physicians, said compassion drew her into the medical field. “The thought of helping people and being able to save lives is cool to me,” Tabit said.

The Academy, which is now in its second year, is a partnership among the WVU School of Nursing, WVU Tech, Bluefield State College, RGH, BARH and the Air Evac LifeTeam. This program is being presented with financial assistance as a grant from the West Virginia Center for Nursing and with support from City National Bank and Chick-fil-A.

Email: kjames@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @KabreaJamesRH

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