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Students get paid internships as rehabilitation aides, food service workers, and material handlers
Healthcare staffing shortages and burnout were an issue before COVID: in 2017, more than half of nurses were at least 50 years old, and almost 30% were age 60 and older; at the same time, nearly half of U.S. physicians were exhibiting at least one symptom of burnout.
Since then it's become even worse as over 300,000 healthcare workers left their jobs in 2021, including 15,000 internal medicine doctors, over 13,000 family practice physicians, nearly 11,000 child psychologists and chiropractors, over 8,500 psychiatrists, and over 8,000 optometrists. In Q4 of 2021 alone, 117,000 physicians quit or retired, as did over 53,000 nurse practitioners. And it's not just doctors and nurses that are having shortages, there's a need for healthcare staff at all levels.
The School District of Philadelphia and Temple University Hospital believe the best way to get fill these gaps is to people in early, show them the ropes, and make it a viable career choice. That's why the two organizations announced a partnership on Monday to provide students with paid internships that will give them the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience to pursue a career in healthcare.
Specifically, the program aims to help fill the roles of rehabilitation aides, food service workers and materials handlers, jobs that the two organizations say, "support the foundation of the healthcare workers." It also aims to create a more diverse workforce by connecting Career and Technical Education (CTE) students to entry-level opportunities when they graduate.
Seniors in the District were allowed to enroll in one of the following CTE programs: Health Related Technology (HRT), Advanced Manufacturing-Automotive, Culinary Arts or Baking & Hospitality programs.
In all, six seniors have been selected for the inaugural internships within the Rehabilitation, Food Service and Material Management departments.
In all, the District offers 120 total CTE programs throughout more than 30 high schools and serves nearly 6,000 students who are given technical and academic skills by industry professionals in over 40 occupational areas. Students are also given the opportunity to earn certifications related to their respective career focus.
In the healthcare space, the District has also previously partnered with St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, as well as with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), allowing medical assistant program students at the Franklin Learning Center to be hired by CHOP and to participate within a six-month medical assistant fellowship program that goes beyond CHOP’s regular onboarding.
“We are proud to be partnering with the School District of Philadelphia on this new program,” Abhinav Rastogi, MBA, MIS, President and CEO of Temple University Hospital and Executive Vice President of Temple University Health System, said in a statement.
“We feel this is an important opportunity to further engage with and give back to our community by providing students learning opportunities in a healthcare setting to help them pursue a future career in healthcare, while at the same time providing Temple with an additional resource for hiring future members on our team from the City of Philadelphia.”
(Image source: templehealth.org)
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