Riverland, health care on display

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tammy Schultz, a respitory therapist, shows participants in the SCRUBS program how to insert a breathing tube during a demonstration Tuesday at Riverland Community College. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

As Kristin Graff walked through the Riverland Community College classroom, she fixed prospective students’ posture, told them where to place their hands, and helped students work each other’s muscles.

Graff, a massage therapy instructor at Riverland, was explaining the finer points of giving chair massages. She and other instructors showed adults ready to go back to school what sort of health careers are available through Riverland’s first annual Scrubs Camp.

“It’s awesome,” Graff said. “Everybody has such a misconception about how we do things. To give these people a little taste of that is really neat.”

Jenny Grabinger massages the shoulders of Briana Cook during a demonstration for massage therapy Tuesday, part of the SCRUBS program put on at Riverland. - Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

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This is the first time Riverland hosted a Scrubs Camp, in partnership with HealthForce Minnesota and Workforce Development. The three-day camp gives participants a wide range of careers to look at through 1 1/2 hour seminars for jobs ranging from respiratory therapy to health unit coordinator, from biotechnician to forensic science specialist and healthcare interpreter.

“(Participants) get a little bit of everything so they can see if that’s what they want to do,” said Wanda Stanska, Riverland training and development coordinator.

That’s what appealed to adult learners like Debbie Holbrook and Brianna Mandery.

“I was interested in the medical field, but I’m slightly undecided,” Mandery said. As Mandery learned how to properly give a chair massage (the secret is using your legs instead of your arms, moving your body with the motions), Holbrook relaxed and listened to instructions, letting Mandery know how she was doing.

“It’s getting a lot of information in a little bit of time,” Holbrook said.

Each seminar offered information about what a particular job does and where people can learn how to do it. Several seminars were lead by specialists from outside Riverland, like Tammy Schultz, of Mayo Medical Center, who lead the Respiratory Therapy session.

Prospective students seemed to appreciate all of Riverland’s efforts. Jamie Chandee, one of the participants said it was helpful to her since she wanted to be in the medical field.

“I wanted to experience the fields that I may go into,” she said.

Although about 60 participants were signed up, all of them prospective Riverland students, there were many drops on the first day. Anyone who wishes to participate may e-mail Kris Bartley at kris.bartley@riverland.edu or call507-433-0612.