ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Students take in-depth look at careers in nursing, occupational therapy at Minnesota West camp

“If health care is a field that you’re interested in down the road, I really encourage you to think about ‘What can I do to start building my resume now?’"

A student dips his hand in paraffin under the watchful eye of Alyssa DeKay, right, an OTR with Sanford, as part of Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Paraffin treatments can help some patients relieve pain.
A student dips his hand in paraffin under the watchful eye of Alyssa DeKay, right, an OTR with Sanford, as part of Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Paraffin treatments can help some patients relieve pain.
Kari Lucin / The Globe
We are part of The Trust Project.

WORTHINGTON — Students looking for a career in health care found an array of options in nursing, occupational therapy and their many specializations at Wednesday’s Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s Nursing and OTA Camp in Worthington.

MORE MINNESOTA WEST NEWS
A showdown between two of the top-ranked Division III women's basketball teams went the way of No. 1 Wednesday night
The students will compete for over $41M to be awarded in scholarships
Seven interested parties attended a recent meeting for those interested in starting a child care business.

Twenty-two prospective students attended the event, which included a tour of Sanford Worthington Medical Center and Sanford Worthington Therapy and Rehabilitation, as well as a look at Minnesota West’s nursing and occupational therapy assistant program facilities in Worthington.

Dee Telkamp, RN manager for emergency department and respiratory therapy at Sanford Worthington, took a group of students around the hospital, showing them where they could potentially be working if they went into health care.

“If health care is a field that you’re interested in down the road, I really encourage you to think about ‘What can I do to start building my resume now?’ and to really see what’s out there for (you) to do,” Telkamp advised.

Dee Telkamp, RN manager for emergency department and respiratory therapy at Sanford Worthington, shows students attending Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp a room at the hospital Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
Dee Telkamp, RN manager for emergency department and respiratory therapy at Sanford Worthington, shows students attending Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp a room at the hospital Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
Kari Lucin / The Globe

ADVERTISEMENT

Sanford Worthington

Telkamp’s tour included a stop in a typical patient room with an unusual patient. According to the “huddle board,” a white board placed in each room that gives hospital staff important information about the patient, the room belonged to Santa Claus. Other information on the board included the day of the week, family names and contacts, health care team names and goals, like getting strong enough to be discharged by Christmas, as well as dietary requirements, like Santa’s “Christmas cookies only” diet.

MORE EDUCATION NEWS
Opponents say the move to keep state institutions from hosting drag performances is a violation of free speech and expression.
A lesser teacher than Tim McConnell would probably have put me in the back row and told me to lip-sync.
The space for early childhood education programming may be the most impressive of all, with its brightly-colored indoor playground.

A typical patient room includes one or two beds — Santa’s had two — and some of the newer beds are equipped with weight systems that can be set to trigger an alarm if a patient leaves the bed, helping reduce their risk of falling, Telkamp explained. Patients in the older beds instead have a clip attached to their gowns leading to a monitor that makes a beeping noise if a patient pulls the clip away when leaving the bed.

“We have two hospitalists who work here,” Telkamp said. “They work 12-hour shifts, and they work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for seven days, and then they’re off for seven days.”

At night, the hospital primarily uses a telehealth program, allowing doctors to visit patients remotely.

“We usually have about 12 to 16 patients a day in the hospital, so that keeps everybody pretty busy. Typical staffing is about three nurses and one CNA or assistant on all the time,” Telkamp said. “So it takes a lot of people to staff that 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Students learned about the different areas in the hospital, such as the Radiology Department, the Women’s Center and the Emergency Department, where they stopped for a few minutes to inspect the interior of an ambulance.

Students tour the gym at Sanford Worthington Therapy and Rehabilitation as part of Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Kara Kramer, right, and Alyssa DeKay, second from the right, tell the students about the work they do.
Students tour the gym at Sanford Worthington Therapy and Rehabilitation as part of Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. Kara Kramer, right, and Alyssa DeKay, second from the right, tell the students about the work they do.
Kari Lucin / The Globe

Therapy and rehabilitation

Kara Kramer, a doctor of occupational therapy, and Alyssa DeKay, registered occupational therapist, led the students on a tour of Sanford Worthington Therapy and Rehabilitation, across the street from the hospital.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We work on getting people back to their independence,” DeKay said, explaining their work.

Kramer listed some of the many opportunities for people in occupational therapy, including both inpatient and outpatient work with young people and the very old.

MORE HEALTH NEWS
Wednesday’s community input meeting at Worthington High School was the third of four planned by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.
Crisis pregnancy centers received almost $3 million in taxpayer funds in 2022. Soon, sharing only medically accurate information could be a prerequisite for funding.
Members Only
Funds from the Worthington Speedway event went to the Worthington Area Foundation.

“It’s a field of endless opportunities,” DeKay added.

They showed students the gym, where patients can work with staff to improve their balance, strength or range of motion, and a treatment room, where patients can get a paraffin treatment. Several students opted to try the paraffin, dipping their hands into the hot, waxy fluid multiple times before their hands were loosely wrapped in order to retain the heat longer. The treatment can help relieve pain and stiffness through heat and improve flexibility and range of motion.

DeKay also showed students a room often used for working with pediatric patients, featuring a swing and toys designed to allow for therapeutic play.

One of the students asked if she and Kramer enjoyed their jobs, and both women said yes. DeKay emphasized how rewarding it is to see people improve over time.

Students participating in Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp tour Sanford Worthington Therapy and Rehabilitation Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
Students participating in Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp tour Sanford Worthington Therapy and Rehabilitation Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
Kari Lucin / The Globe

“It’s really cool seeing them meet their goals,” Kramer agreed. “I love it.”

Students attending the camp also got to view the new OTA lab and classrooms at Minnesota West. The OTA program is new to the college, with its first class of students set to begin in May.

ADVERTISEMENT

College students stand in one of the ambulances housed at Sanford Worthington as Dee Telkamp, RN manager for emergency department and respiratory therapy, left, tells them about the "ER on wheels" during Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
College students stand in one of the ambulances housed at Sanford Worthington as Dee Telkamp, RN manager for emergency department and respiratory therapy, left, tells them about the "ER on wheels" during Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Nursing & OTA Camp Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
Kari Lucin / The Globe

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
What To Read Next
The administration is bringing back an Obama-era decision, later reversed by Trump, that bans new mineral leases on 225,500 acres of the Superior National Forest for the next two decades.
Blowing snow caused poor visibility and the wind and plummeting temperatures combining to make spending time outdoors an uncomfortable experience for anyone unprepared.
Rod Burkard now has the opportunity to compete in August at the national event in Pennsylvania.
Minnesota’s Historic Tax credit had an 11-year run before ending in 2022. Now, advocates of the program are attempting to bring it back.