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AUHS nursing students Ryan Albano, Brittany Harwick, and Kristine Barlis waiting for their turn in Boot Camp on Tuesday, March, 28, 2017.

AUHS nursing students Ryan Albano, Brittany Harwick, and Kristine Barlis waiting for their turn in Boot Camp on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) kicked off Spring 2017 with Nursing Boot Camp where AUHS nursing students will be evaluated on skills such as taking vital signs, foley catheter insertion and IV (intravenous) tubing from March 28-30, 2017. Students who will be entering or returning to a hospital or clinical setting are required to attend Boot Camp each quarter for assessment.

“The purpose of boot camp is to evaluate the competency level of students who are going to the next level,” said Dr. Betty Butler, an AUHS Associate Professor, “Boot Camp shows us (the AUHS School of Nursing) whether or not the students can critically think through some of these skills. Not only is it important to be able to perform these skills, but to also understand the concept or the critical element of performing these skills.”

The Boot Camp helps AUH nursing students prepare for what they are expected to know in a clinical setting such as preparing to start an IV, medical dosage calculations and performing head-to-toe assessments. Nursing Boot Camp is an all day event and involves students from all levels. There are nursing students from Fundamentals as well as students from Intermediate Medical-Surgical (Med-Surg) classes who are transitioning to Advanced Med-Surg. There are even senior level students that are moving up into their last Advanced Med-Surg class. Each student is tested according to his or her course level.

“The students who have taken Fundamentals, for example, need to demonstrate that they can do basic skills such as taking vital signs, blood pressure, and temperature,” said Dr. Butler, “The more advanced students get to do skills such as NG (nasogastric) tube insertion, primary IV, and secondary IV tubing. We have an intermediate group that gets to do a head-to-toe assessment and EKG (Electrocardiography) placements.”

AUHS nursing student Brittany Harwick from Cohort 17 attended her fourth Boot Camp on March 28, 2017. The 5 stations individuals were tested on in Harwick’s group was foley catheter, head-to-toe assessment, vital signs, medical administration, and IV start.

“Boot Camp helps refresh your skills. It is kind of nerve-wracking going in there, but otherwise, I think it is helpful,” said Harwick, “I feel pretty good about today’s assessment and I’m ready to go to clinical.”

Harwick studied extensively over spring break to prepare for Boot Camp.

“I studied the rubric and practiced on friends as much as I could, especially with my head-to-toe assessment,” Harwick said.

AUHS Professor Dr. Sue Morrison assessing students in Spring 2017 Boot Camp.

AUHS Professor Dr. Sue Morrison assessing students in Spring 2017 Boot Camp.

AUHS nursing student Laura Prickett from Cohort 17 was in the same Boot Camp group as Harwick. If there is an area a student did not pass, he or she will receive a one-on-one remediation from a clinical instructor in week 2 of the quarter, according to Prickett. This is Prickett’s fourth or fifth time at Boot Camp and she shared some of her insight about the quarterly event.

“I passed all my stations so I feel confident,” said Prickett, “I think overall Boot Camps helps to see where we’re at and who needs help as far as what experience they need. It helps us prepare for the clinical setting. Boot Camps makes up 5% of your lecture grade and is based on how many sections you passed.”

Prickett’s advice for students attending Boot Camp for the first time is to review ATI, know what the normal vital signs are and what to look for during assessments. The more you study, the better.

AUHS is a private, for-profit, minority owned, minority serving, Christian-based university whose mission is to educate and equip students with life careers and to produce quality health care professionals for the community, the nation, and the world. It is a university where appreciation of life and one’s spiritual reason for existence can be nurtured.  AUHS offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR). To request more information, email or call (562) 988-2278. For the latest news, pictures and videos of American University of Health Sciences’ events, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AUHS_Campus and Instagram @auhsedu.