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Detroit, Michigan native Teberah Alexander, RN, BSN, also known as Nurse T, kicked off National Nurses Week, showcasing healthcare careers for children and engaging them in the same way she became interested: by stoking their curiosity.
Alexander’s Future Nurses Program gives children 6-13 years old hands-on experience in nursing and healthcare professions with interactive workshops like one over the weekend at Renaissance High School, her alma mater.
Daily Nurse is proud to honor Nurse T as our Nurse of the Week for giving back to the nursing profession by educating future nurses and healthcare leaders of tomorrow.
“I only feel obligated as a nurse and a productive citizen in my community to give back to these young people,” says Alexander.
The recent event at Renaissance High School, Alexander’s alma mater in Detroit, featured at least eight classrooms, each with education stations for kids. Some stations involved dissecting organs, such as sheep’s hearts, and learning about anatomy firsthand.
Kharon Thompson, 11, cut open a sheep’s heart with the help of an instructor and identified its chambers for pumping blood.
Lauryn Hayes, 12, wants to be a travel nurse and says meeting Nurse T and learning about anatomy were her favorite parts of the day.
Cymantha Galbraiph, 13, says she enjoyed learning about organs and how the human body takes care of itself. Cymantha says she wants to be a neuroscientist and likes learning about how the brain works.
Erika Walker took her 9-year-old daughter, London, to the event to learn about medical work. Walker works in healthcare administration and wanted her daughter to experience hands-on activities.
Alexander, a nurse who has worked at Henry Ford Health and Detroit Medical Center’s Sinai Grace Hospital, says she was exposed to the healthcare profession by her mother, who worked as an anesthesia technician. Alexander also credits her science teachers for supporting her interest in the field.
“This was my vision, to have a program where I can empower and educate and motivate children to go into the healthcare profession,” Alexander says. “I’m here to make sure they get that exposure at a young age because a lot of children fear the math and the sciences. They can be exposed to it, and so when they see it in the classroom or upper grades, they know that they can conquer it.”
Alexander teaches at Excelling Nursing Academy, a school for students interested in becoming certified nursing assistants, and volunteered to start a pilot CNA program for students at Renaissance High School this year. Her CNA students volunteered with the younger kids at Saturday’s event.
Other stations at the workshop focused on making healthy choices in eating, drinking, and dental hygiene. Henry Ford Health provided radiology and ultrasound equipment and volunteers for interactive stations with the children.
“You hope that if they see early that science is fun, that they need to continue in math and science if they want to have a career in healthcare,” says Denise Brooks-Williams, executive vice president and CEO of Care Delivery Operations with Henry Ford Health. “Healthcare can benefit by having people that are diverse in it, and so coming into the community and being able to expose the kids is also really great.”
Nominate a Nurse of the Week! Every Wednesday, DailyNurse.com features a nurse making a difference in the lives of their patients, students, and colleagues. We encourage you to nominate a nurse who has impacted your life as the next Nurse of the Week, and we’ll feature them online and in our weekly newsletter.
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