Kassie Campbell was having a bad day recently when she visited a downtown coffee shop. As she hurried toward the exit with her coffee, a teenager stopped and asked if she was “that trauma nurse lady.”
Yes, Campbell said, she was the one who presented a driver safety program at his school.
“I never wore a seat belt before I went to your class, and I was in a crash after your class,” the teen told her. “They told me if I hadn’t been wearing my seat belt, I wouldn’t have survived.”
Campbell’s day brightened.
“It was a reminder: People are listening,” she said.
Campbell, RN, BSN, spends half her week as a nurse clinician with MU Health Care’s trauma program, caring for patients who have suffered serious injuries. She spends the other half as MU Health Care’s Injury Prevention Outreach Program coordinator, teaching people across Missouri sensible ways to minimize their risk of serious injury.
In her five years leading the outreach program, Campbell created two safety programs for drivers on both ends of the age spectrum. “Is It Worth It?” warns teens about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving, and the importance of wearing seat belts. “Keep Your Keys” helps older adults know how to stay fit for driving and how to prepare to retire from driving. She also leads “Stop the Bleed,” a national program that teaches people how to treat victims of traumatic injuries before medical professionals arrive.
Campbell, a lifelong resident of Centralia, gives about 100 presentations of those three programs per year. She doesn’t just go through the motions, either. Campbell constantly tweaks her approach based on feedback, particularly the blunt comments she hears from students. That makes it all the more gratifying when she hears that her message made a difference in someone’s life.
“Her office does the work of several Level 1 trauma centers,” said Jeffrey Coughenour, MD, the medical director of MU Health Care’s Frank L. Mitchell Jr., MD, Trauma Center. “I couldn’t be more proud to call her a friend and colleague. We are blessed to have her share her passion and energy with us.”
To learn more about our outreach programs or to schedule a presentation for your group or school, visit our Injury Prevention Outreach Program page.