This is a simple exercise, often used in nursing programs.
Plug their ears and smear petrolatum jelly on glasses and then do so role play with having a conversation. This parallels alterations in hearing and vision like the elderly sometimes experience. Give the "elderly" person a role play, like someone has come to visit you and you are to try to get to know them. Trade off and let every one be the elderly person. Have them discuss what it was like to be hearing and vision impaired.
Have nurses suggest simple case studies for the high school students. For example, Bessie is a 88 year old woman who wants to stay in her home. She has arthritis and cannot cook her meals but is alert and can do much of her own care. How can you help Bessie stay in her home? Get her a personal assistant dog. Meals on Wheels. Hook her up to church based visitors in her home. Get her to come to the local senior center. Homemaker services.
Teach teens about the concept of life history review and then take them to a senior center or nursing home and match them with alert seniors and get them to interview seniors to hear some life history reviews. This would allow teens to hear stories of the depression, WWII, onset of technology in America, what it was like to live when not everyone had electricity. A geriatric nurse specialist can help you with life history review.
Assemble a panel of nurses to talk about their jobs: floor nurse, OR nurse, ER nurse, home health nurse, public health nurse, L & D nurse. have each nurse bring a tool specific to their field of nursing. They can do some sort of role play perhaps.
have a nurse that does attendant care come to talk. This might be a nurse that cares for a child at home on technology OR a hospice nurse (two very different types of nursing). If you have a mobile, ventilator dependent child whose parents are willing they could come with their care giving nurse and talk about what it is like giving one on one care to a child in their home. The parent may talk about what their life is like.
Have an advanced practice nurse do a limited physical and explain what she does and why she does it. ie HEENT, lung sounds, heart sounds, abd palpation, limited neuro exam. She could do this on a student with appropriate releases but assign the student a role to play. (Mary is here with a stuffy nose and sneezing and tearing eyes.) Students can practice looking in ears and trying to see eye grounds.
Have an OR nurse come and talk about the role of an OR nurse. She can bring a sterile pack along and demonstrate sterile technique, the 10 minute scrub (pantomine with adjuncts), how the clean circulator assists the sterile team members, what a sponge count is.
Have a public health nurse demonstrate the DDST II on a gregarious 4 year old and explain what the test shows. DDST is a screening test for normal development.
talk to nurses from various disciplines in your community and ask them what they would like to do to make nursing come alive to students in high school