Memorial Hospital welcomes 18 students into this year’s Medical Explorers program. Beginning in 2019, the program year was cut short with the events of 2020. At the start of the 2020 program year in September, the post had a virtual start and by the end of the program year, was able to invite students into the building during the summer months for job shadowing. As Memorial starts their third year of the program, they are hopeful to provide a full year of in-person and hands-on exploring in healthcare.
The Memorial Hospital Medical Explorers is a registered post of the nationally recognized branch of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Exploring is part of the Learning for Life’s career education program for young men and women by the BSA. The program welcomes young adults ages 14-21 who have an interest in healthcare careers. During the program at Memorial, students meet once a month and hear from different departments throughout the hospital, rural health clinic, rehab center, and other community healthcare professionals including first responders. They are also provided hands-on activities that help them better understand the tasks that healthcare professionals perform each day.
The purpose of the program is to provide experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Memorial’s Medical Exploring Program is designed to create a unique, hands-on structure that provides learning activities for the participants’ special interests and help guide them to a future career in the healthcare field.
This year’s Explorers include the following students from the listed schools: Chester High School – Josalynn Anaya, Abby Bollmann, Hanna Colvis, Madison Kribs, Camryn Luthy, and Julia Venus. Sparta High School – Annaliese Corbin, Abigail Heinen, Jada Long, Abigail Zweigart. Steeleville High School – Kadence Bockhorn, Jaden Hinnerichs, and Mia Masterson. TRICO High School – KayLynn Bowerman, Kyler Bowerman, Daniel Jones. Gibault High School – Elseah Congiardo. Southwestern Illinois College – Macey Ludwig.
This year students will hear from familiar departments such as Human Resources, Diagnostic Imaging, Nursing, and the Rehab Center. New additions to the program include presentations from the Rural Health Clinic, OR Nursing, Pharmacy, and AirEvac (EMS Aid Medical Team). “The goal is to add different and new things each year,” says Committee Chairperson, Mariah Bargman. “We want to make the program engaging for students who are in the program more than one year. We have four students in the program this year who have been an Explorer since 2019. So it is important to us that they don’t see the same thing each year and are always learning new aspects about healthcare and career options.”
As an Explorer, students are given privileges to job shadow in many departments and with specialty providers. This helps further their understanding of the daily demands different healthcare workers experience and help them make better decisions in a career path that may fit their abilities and interests.
New this year, Explorers who are seniors in High School or attending college will be able to apply for a scholarship. The scholarship application process includes extra job shadowing hours and short essays. A committee will then evaluate their performance and editorial pieces, and a $500 scholarship will be awarded by the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.