Today I took some high school boys from a local Communities in Schools project on a tour of my hospital unit in a likely vain attempt to interest them in nursing. One of the nurses in the education department regularly brings high school kids in to generate some interest in medicine as a future career. The groups vary in enthusiasm I was told and this one was only slightly more engaged than our sedated-into-unconsciousness patients.
I gave them a rundown of what our patient population was like and the role of the nurses on our unit, trying to make it sound exciting (it really is) and rewarding (emotionally and financially). When that failed to inspire any questions or even change in facial expression, we went through the various medical TV shows and ascertained which were reasonably accurate (ER, though with less death of staff) and which were ridiculous (Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, House). That ate up five minutes. Thank goodness the Communities in Schools staff had good questions. I think I might have even convinced a staffer to consider nursing.
After the unit tour, we went to lunch with several other male nurses speaking as part of a panel. The best part of the day was when we shared our stories of how and why they got into nursing. The kids couldn't of cared less but I was inspired, especially by the guys who immigrated here. I'm a big dork about this, but I really do love nursing and have an inordinate amount of pride in the profession so I love to hear stories from co-workers about how their making a difference in people's lives.
I'm on the list now so I'm sure I'll be presenting again to students in the future. Here's hoping the next group is a little more receptive.