PENNINGTON GAP, Va. - Carmen Spurrier remembers the excitement of beginning her nursing career and the opportunity to improve the health of patients
But like many budding professionals, Spurrier experienced tight financial times in the early days. The cost of school and training was not far in the rearview mirror, and there were expenses associated with her new job
Now a registered nurse in the emergency department at Lee Regional Medical Center, Spurrier wants to help those who are entering the profession by reducing some of their expenses. She has organized an innovative event for medical professionals to donate used scrubs to nursing students at Lee County Vocational School in Ben Hur and Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap.
People can drop off the scrubs in the emergency departments at Lee Regional and Lonesome Pine Hospital at any time Tuesday, April 30, and Wednesday, May 1. Spurrier said the scrubs will be offered to the nursing students later that week.
"After wearing a pair of scrubs for a while, some medical professionals might choose to buy a new pair," Spurrier said. "The old pair might still be in good shape, so there is no reason to put them in the garbage.
"This initiative is an excellent way for caregivers who have worked in health care for a while to show their support for those who are following in their footsteps."
Although the collections will take place at the two Wellmont Health System hospitals, the donors do not have to work there, Spurrier said. She said anyone in the healthcare field is welcome to participate
If any scrubs remain after the nursing students have finished their selection, Spurrier will find other incoming care providers who would benefit from the donation
"Many young medical professionals contribute greatly to patient care in our region, and it makes sense to help them with the transition from school to full-time work with the least amount of expense possible," Spurrier said. "It will build additional camaraderie between those starting their careers and those who very likely will serve as their mentors."