Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Memorial Hospital is honored to be offering a Medical Exploring program again this year to young adults ages 14-21 years. The program meetings began virtually in October. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and visitor restrictions in the hospital, the group commenced meeting virtually with the hopes of students being able to gain in-person experiences later in the Spring and Summer of 2021.
The nationally recognized program is a 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 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.
Though there are a few limitations to the virtual platform of the meetings this fall, there are also opportunities. With the virtual format students will not be able to gain physical access to the activities, instead through pre-recorded and live video they have access to providers and areas of the hospital that they may not otherwise be able to experience.
As a registered Explorer Post, Memorial is able to design a program that is flexible to fit the interests of the students and works well across all of the MH facilities to best demonstrate the careers and opportunities available within healthcare. Memorial’s program runs the length of a full school year, starting in October this year and ending in May. The 2020-2021 group is the second charter group at Memorial. The group of 25 students from high schools throughout Randolph County and Jackson County meets monthly and each meeting welcomes a new presenting department. Each department explains the education needed to obtain qualifying degrees or certificates in their field, what their job tasks consist of, and plans a demonstration or activity involving tools or equipment they use to complete their tasks. “We do hope to really engage our students this year even though we can’t be with them in person to start out,” states Committee Chairperson, Mariah Bargman. “We are making extra efforts to include exclusive video footage, provider interviews, and new independent exploration options to the program. ”
Professionals from the Human Resource Department, the Nursing Department, the Rural Health Clinics, the Therapy & Sports Rehab Center, Radiology Department, OR Nursing, and specialty providers in audiology are scheduled to provide educational programs to this year’s group. Some students were a part of the program last year and have signed up for a second year. Any repeat department that presented last year is altering their presentation so as to not provide the exact same information. This allows our students to come back year after year and continue to learn something new. By the end of the program, the students will be CPR certified and have the opportunity to job shadow in a variety of departments throughout all of Memorial’s locations.. As part of the program requirements, Memorial also requires participants to spend four hours volunteering either at the hospital or in the community. Being a rural hospital it is important for us to interact with our community to better understand the unique needs in our area. By encouraging our students to be active in their community they have the opportunity to fully engage themselves in their rural area and experience the importance of rural healthcare.
The main goal of the program at Memorial is to show students that there are many medical career options here in our rural community.
By educating the participants before they make their professional career choices, we hope they will end up making the right choices and pursue a career they love. Through the mentors and connections made in the program across a variety of departments, Memorial hopes to provide the resources needed for these future healthcare providers to excel and succeed in their chosen path.
Participants this year are (top of page L-R, T-B): Bethany Baughman, Kayla Bert, Hannah Blechle, Abby Blow, Abby Bollmann, Elseah Congiardo, Emma Eggemeyer, Ashley Griggs, Kailey Hall, Claire Hamilton, Camrynn Howie, Aeris Huhman, Madison Kribs, Jada Long, Macey Ludwig, Camryn Luthy, Ellen McCormick, Reese McCormick, Emily Mehrer, Jordan Merideth, Amelia Shemonic, William Sorto, Alison Venus, Jilliyn Wunderlich, and Abigail Zweigart.