Source: Jersey City Reporter
Not all the Lincoln High School students who attended the opening of the mentoring program at Christ Hospital want to be a doctor or a nurse. But tenth grader Denise White does.
“I really want to become a nurse,” she said. “And I think this is a good way to get exposure.”
White is one of 10 Lincoln High School students who will meet at the hospital on Thursday afternoons for the next several weeks. During the weekly seminars, the students will learn about areas of health care such as infection control, surgical services, environmental services, emergency services and general patient experience.
The students will also be able to participate in the Junior Volunteer program and will receive community service credit. The program will open up opportunities for these teens and they can apply for scholarships and letters of recommendations based on their experience in the program, plus develop professional contacts and nurture future career paths.
Marie Duffy, chief hospital executive for Christ Hospital, said the program offered by CarePoint will provide students with a work place introduction into healthcare and possibly serve as a vehicle for them to enter the healthcare profession as a career.
“We came together and decided we wanted to do some kind of mentoring program for young ladies,” Cimmino said. “Our vision was to expose the volunteers to health care careers, educate some of them in order to become junior volunteers at the end of their workshop. There are plenty of opportunities in many different areas.”
This will include patient access, laboratory, nursing, security, and other operations at the hospital. “Our goal is for a four to six week program,” She said. “The kids would come to Christ Hospital every Thursday for two hours, meet with the staff, and then have an expert to speak to them.”
The students would then go to different patient care areas to be exposed to the environment, then come back and ask questions, and see if anything interests them so that they might continue on at the commencement of the program as junior volunteers.
“That opens many doors, providing the students with experience that would be valuable if they decide later to pursue a medical career,” Denise Cimmino of Christ Hospital’s Department of Patient Care said.
Arthur Williams, director of Jersey City Department of Recreation, said Jersey City public schools hold a national award for mentoring. “The late mayor Glenn Cunningham supported that program,” he said. “Mentoring is having that connection with friends that will open doors for kids.”
“One of the greatest gifts you can have is a mentor because they are your own personal cheerleader,” Cunningham once said. “A mentor is there to encourage you, to be with you, to do things with you, to listen to you, and to help guide you, but never to tell you what to do.”