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Medical Explorers finally get hands-on experience they crave

  • The 2020-21 crop of Medical Explorers got a recent tour of the Radiology Department.

    The 2020-21 crop of Medical Explorers got a recent tour of the Radiology Department.
    Courtesy of Memorial Hospital

  • Explorer Amelia Shemonic job shadows with Dr. Margret DeGuzman, general surgeon, in the Wound Clinic.

    Explorer Amelia Shemonic job shadows with Dr. Margret DeGuzman, general surgeon, in the Wound Clinic.
    Courtesy of Memorial Hospital

 
Submitted by Mariah Bargman, Chester Memorial Hospital
updated: 5/20/2021 9:23 PM

The Memorial Hospital Medical Explorers have been eager to job shadow since this year's program began in October. But it wasn't until April, with the COVID-19 positivity rates dropping, that students finally were allowed to meet in person and commence actual shadowing.

From October through April the students met virtually via Zoom, where different departments shared a virtual look inside their respective fields.

The Explorers have had presentations from Memorial Hospital's Human Resource Director Julie Stern and Chief Nursing Office Susan Diddlebock, who provided a look at health care and nursing careers.

Chance Fox, a second year medical student at Washington University in St. Louis provided insight into medical school and what it takes to get in. Heather Huck, occupational therapist and director of Memorial Hospital's Therapy and Sports Rehab Center, shared information on various therapy careers and opportunities.

Andria Zweigart, director of Diagnostic Imaging and Deb Mevert, Operating Room Nurse Manager, gave presentations and virtual tours on the specialties, equipment and procedures in their departments.

In April, at the Explorers' first in-person meeting of the year, they became CPR certified under the instruction of Randy Dudenbostel, a certified CPR instructor and Memorial's director of Materials Management and Environmental Services.

Following their in-person meeting, students were given a brief tour of the hospital and got to see the new Medical Surgical and Intensive Care units.

"Job shadowing is a vital part of the program," says Explorer program Chairman Mariah Bargman. "Shadowing and seeing medical professionals perform their health care jobs first hand is why so many Explorers sign up."

Job shadowing provides the hands-on experience these students are looking for to help them make decisions about their future career choices.

Each Explorer is able to schedule as much time as they would like with a variety of departments throughout the MH locations.

"So many enter the program thinking doctors and nurses make up a hospital, when there are so many other vital roles and departments that support the whole hospital system," says Bargman. One of the main goals of the program is to show the Explorers all the options and opportunities related to health care.

With the students getting a late start at job shadowing, they will be allowed to continue scheduling hours through the end of July. This allows them ample time to experience many departments throughout the hospital, rural health clinics, and the Therapy & Sports Rehab Center.

• Enrollment for the 2021-2022 program year will begin in August. Learn more at www.mhchester.com/exploring.