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Front row: Discover Healthcare teacher Andy Jickling and assistant teacher Ina Hysko with graduates and Einstein staff.
Thirty high school students recently graduated with a certificate from the Discover Healthcare Program offered through Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, after completing the free, three week course of study. “The aim of our program is to introduce students to some of the career paths available in the healthcare field, and to provide them with practical career skills,” says Ellen Goldberg, Manager of Volunteer Services at Einstein Philadelphia. Students are given the opportunity to observe a baby being born or a wound being bandaged, or to see how a person re-learns how to swallow following a stroke.
This year’s Discover Healthcare Program students came from a wide range of city and suburban high schools, including: Central High School, Imhotep Charter High School, George Washington High School, Cheltenham High School, Lower Moreland High School, Central Bucks South High School, Haddon Heights High School, and others. During the program, students rotated through three areas within the hospital, spending one week in each department, in clinical or non-clinical areas, and they shadowed an Einstein healthcare professional to learn what their specific job entails and the responsibilities of the department. There are a wide range of areas students have an opportunity to rotate through, including: the Emergency Department, Labor & Delivery, Radiology, Speech Therapy, Nursing Units, Physical Therapy, Cardiac Cath Lab, Electrophysiology, Pharmacy, Recreation Therapy, Laboratories, Respiratory Therapy, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Cancer Center, Central Processing, and Security.
The program also includes having representatives from a variety of departments come in and speak with the students about what their job entails, including staff from Einstein’s Chaplaincy Program, Think First (an injury prevention program), neurology, and others.
“In addition, we teach students how to put together an effective resume and they also gain practice doing mock interviews with representatives from our Human Resources Department so they can learn how to impress a prospective employer during a job interview,” says Andy Jickling, Discovery Healthcare teacher. “Students are also required to do a power point presentation related to one of the departments they rotated through, or about a medical condition they learned about.”
“An exciting dimension to this program is that for many students it’s just the beginning; they return for our Discover Healthcare II and our pre-med programs, and before we know it, we have a physical therapist, a nurse, or doctor thanking us for giving them their start in healthcare,” says Laura Romano, Director of Volunteer, Chaplaincy, Language and Cultural Services at Einstein Philadelphia.