The university’s pre-health counseling team partners with U.Va. Health to provide summer work opportunities for students interested in health professions. The collaboration was created for students to gain insightful experiences while getting paid.
The partnership between the pre-health counseling team and U.Va. Health began in 2019 with the Observe program—- an observational program that connected U.Va. Medical Center with Student Health to provide students interested in health professions the opportunity to follow and network with health care providers. The program ended with no guarantee of continuity due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a growing need for healthcare workers as well as students’ need for jobs and experiences in a clinical setting, members of the University Healthcare System and Pre-Health Counseling Team decided to do team to provide work opportunities for students in the summer.
The entry level positions offered at the Academic Medical Center include the roles of Greeter, Access Associate, Patient Transporter, Food and Nutrition, and Supply Chain. Positions are also available in the Environmental Services Office. Although some of these positions do not involve direct contact with patients, they provide the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the hospital and contribute to the healthcare industry.
Although these offers were previously available, they were not promoted to give students the opportunity to apply due to the number of hours required to work, as explained by Charles Bodden, Senior Director of Recruitment and Retention. talent at U.Va. Human ressources.
“Right now, the need for hospital staff [is great], and to expand that opportunity is really making a concerted effort to focus on U.Va. students,” Bodden said. “I mean, they’re tied to the hospital system, why not give them the first chance?”
Kim Sauerwein, acting executive director of the Career Center, clarified that it is often seen as important for pre-health students to seize these opportunities and make the most of them for their careers.
“The goal is for it to be an opportunity for students to have a [experience]Said Sauerwein. “The pre-health advisers would accompany the students in the reflection.
These positions aim to strengthen the links between academics and professionalism in order to help students gain experiences deemed valuable for their future careers.
“As part of pre-health counseling, we ask students to reflect on their academic development, career development, and personal development,” Sauerwein said. “Career development is seeing things in healthcare. Personal development is about reflecting on those things that they have witnessed.
Sauerwein explains that the best applications for health professions programs come from students who have been thoughtful and intentional about their experiences.
Haley Turner, a fourth-year education student, said networking and hands-on experiences are very powerful tools that pre-health students — like her — should seek out.
“I think as a pre-health student, the most important thing for some opportunities is to get clinical experience,” Turner said. “It’s a great thing that a lot of people are looking for and needed for medical school and for other health professions.”
Applications are published on Handshake and the Pre-Health Pulse Newsletter. These summer work opportunities are intended to strengthen opportunities for other health and science-related summer jobs and research programs in the future for pre-health students at the University.
“It can go not only during the summer, but also during the school year,” Bodden said. “There is no time limit on this as long as it comes to opportunities [students] which you want to take advantage of. »