Red Lake Nation Celebrates New BSU Nurses With Hand-Beaded Stethoscopes

a group of students in nursing scrubs poses in front of a door
BSU nursing students with their new stethoscopes from Red Lake Nation.

Bemidji State University’s newest nursing students were welcomed into the program with a gift of hand-beaded stethoscopes, presented by the Red Lake Nation.

A man with glasses, grey hair and a black sweater.
Jerry Loud speaks to BSU nursing students during the presentation of stethoscopes.

Jerry Loud, executive director of Oshkiimaajitahdah — a tribal program that promotes economic and social wellbeing for all members of the Red Lake Nation community — presented the stethoscopes to this year’s group of incoming pre-licensure students at a January 9 ceremony in BSU’s nursing lab.

Each Littmann Classic III stethoscope was hand-beaded by Martina Isham, work which took approximately two hours per instrument. This year’s class was the second at BSU to receive stethoscopes donated by Red Lake Nation.

“We brought it to another level by adding Ojibwe beading to each stethoscope,” Loud said. “By adding a piece of the Ojibwe culture to their profession, they will gain an instant connection to the individuals they are serving.”

Last fall, students newly accepted into the BSU nursing program received a letter from Red Lake Nation congratulating them on their achievement.

“There is no nobler quest than helping your neighbor and community as a nurse,” the letter read.

Jeff Bell, dean of BSU’s College of Individual and Community Health, said in his remarks to BSU students that the gift was a tangible reminder that the difficult work ahead of them would be individually rewarding and invaluable to the communities they will eventually serve.

“The work you will put in will be hard, but worth it as you substantially improve the lives of your patients,” he said. “Let Red Lake’s gift remind you to care for your patients in a culturally responsive way.”