Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Girl Scouts receive “top” honors at Nursing Discovery Program

It’s no surprise that Girl Scouts and nurses have many things in common. Both are known to make a difference in the lives of those they serve and both equip women to be leaders in their communities. For more than five years, Cecilia Pangandoyon, RN, a nurse at Ben Taub General Hospital, has created dozens of nurses’ caps for Girl Scouts aspiring to join the nursing profession during the Harris County Hospital District’s annual Nursing Discovery Program. The event precedes National Nurses Week, May 6-12.

“I was recruited several years ago to join the hospital district’s Nurses Week Committee and to make caps for the nurses for Nurses’ Day,” said Cecilia. “During that time I was also asked to make 65 caps for the Girl Scouts for the Nursing Discovery Program.”

Since the program’s inception, Cecilia has made more than 500 caps using 17x11 inch paper donated by a local printer. She adorns the caps with a stitch (where hair pins are placed) and adds a heart and a pearl, her signature touches. The Girl Scouts receive their caps during a special pinning ceremony, where the staff nurses participating in the program present a program certificate to the girls and append a nursing pin to their tops.  

Cecilia, who learned to make nursing caps as a student in the Philippines, was also a Girl Scout Brownie, and often reminisces about her childhood experience.

“It feels good to be able to use my skills in making the caps to support the Girl Scouts and their journey to be becoming a nurse in the future,” said Cecilia.

As part of the Nursing Discovery Program, girls learn how to take vital signs, including pulse, blood pressure and temperature. There are also discussions on current health issues, ethics and standards as well as challenges facing the nursing profession.

Cecilia Pangandoyon creates nurses' caps for Girl Scouts.
“Nursing is a calling, and a profession of passion that requires ongoing learning in order to serve our communities,” said Linda Keenan, chief nursing officer and associate administrator, Ambulatory Care Services, Harris County Hospital District. “How better to serve our communities than to promote this caring profession to the future career women in America, and those wishing to learn more  about this rewarding career on  Discovery Day.”

Although nurses in many countries do not wear head caps anymore, the nursing cap has become a symbol of the profession and the pinning ceremony is considered a right of passage for those entering the profession.

This year's Nursing Discovery Program takes place at the El Franco Lee Health Center on Saturday, April 28.