Together, Debbie Brumfield, Jean Frisone and Diana Autry have 74 years of experience in nursing.
The three Akron Children’s nurses volunteered their time Wednesday night at the Healthcare Career Awareness Night at Akron North High School, hoping to encourage high school students to consider the career they’ve found to be so rewarding.
“It’s a great time to be a nurse,” said Frisone, who works on the Ask Children’s call center staff. “There are so many opportunities, from traditional bedside nursing to advanced practice nursing, public health, research and hospital administration.”
Brumfield and Autry agreed, adding that changes in their field, such as the strong emphasis on patient safety and quality, have only empowered and elevated the role of nurses in healthcare organizations.
About 600 area high school students and their parents were expected to attend the event, which is sponsored by Healthcare in Progress, a collaboration of primary, secondary and higher education institutions, and Akron area hospitals, aiming to promote healthcare careers.
“We want to encourage students to go to college, take math and science, and consider healthcare careers,” said Marilynn McCoy, a deployment leader in Human Resources. “Even if you’re not interested in clinical care, we have jobs open in areas like computers and information technologies.”
Akron Children’s almost always has between 180 to 200 jobs posted at any given time, according to Marilynn.
North High School sophomores MaNne Harrison and Brittaney Lee came to the event to talk to healthcare professionals and college admissions advisors, collect brochures, and look at displays that included skeletons, X-rays and respiratory equipment.
“I want to learn more about social work,” said Harrison. “I think it would be a good way to help people.”
Lee said she is interested in learning more about the path to become a surgical technician. Her mother is currently enrolled in a surgical tech program at Stark State College.
Akron’s Children’s Transport Team, sporting their distinctive blue uniforms, had large crowds of students visiting their station throughout the night.
Kerry Garrett, a nurse paramedic, and Maria Dudley, a nurse EMT, told students they begin their careers by earning a bachelor of science in nursing. Then, they must have at least three years of critical care experience between joining the team and getting their certification.
“There is always more training and more learning to stay sharp and keep your skills,” said Dudley. “In this job, you really have to commit to life-long learning.”
Event sponsors – and members of Healthcare in Progress – are Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron Community Foundation, Akron General Medical Center, Summa Health System, Akron Public Schools, Austen BioInnovation Institute of Akron, ARI-AHEC, Kent State University, Northeast Ohio Medical University and the University of Akron.