Girl Scouts spend day at medical center to earn First Aid badges

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- More than 250 Girl Scouts spent Thursday at Lee's Summit Medical Center, learning about First Aid and health care careers. It's the first time the health care center has hosted a Girl Scout day.

Experts throughout the hospital educated the girls about different health care specialties.

The presentations are helping many of the girls earn their First Aid badges. The girls learned how to fashion slings and bandages from common household items, with an emphasis on hand washing and infection prevention.

They also toured an ambulance, and learned that there are many rewarding health care careers aside from becoming a doctor or nurse.

"It's invaluable," said Katie Murphy, manager of nursing education at Lee's Summit Medical Center. "Just the confidence, the skills they learn being Girl Scouts and coming to the hospital and seeing good role models, whatever career they end up choosing, their time in Girl Scouts and anything we can do here through the hospital to help them gain some confidence. Who knows? Maybe someone hears something today that helps them choose their field in the future."

Women make up half of the workforce, but they currently occupy only about one out of four jobs connected to science, technology engineering or math. The Girls Scouts hope the hands-on activities at the hospital will spur more young women to pursue so-called STEM careers. And hospital workers say they enjoy serving as role models for so many bright young minds.

Some of the nurses at the hospital are former Girl Scouts and they say it's important for young women to be prepared to take care of people around them, prevent illnesses and stay safe.