"Grow Our Own" Medical Professionals
One goal of the Vulcan County Health Professional Recruitment and Retention Committee is to “grow our own” doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals with the hope that, after graduation, some might return “home” and work in our local health care facilities. Our committee believes that it is important to help students learn more about possible careers in all health care professions – not just being a doctor or a nurse! High school is the perfect time for students to learn more about a career as a health care professional. Preparing early not only helps the student academically, but it may provide them with a better understanding of the seemingly endless career choices in this field.
County Central High School students interested in learning more about careers in the medical field are required to take a mandatory online introductory course through the school. These students then have the opportunity to set up a special project of their own design. The plan is to pair them with a mentor who is a health care professional in the field they are interested in and who work in our rural community. Through weekly check-ins with their mentor, they can get the required information and possible experience to enable them to complete the project and at the same time get exposed to the rural health care environment. The school is responsible for assessing their work and provide the academic credits for their time involvement.
Students can start this in Grade 10 and proceed to do a project each year if they choose.
In this, our first year of the project, we had 12 interested students. We were able to pair these students with 2 of our local doctors, 4 RN’s, 1 HCA, a Diagnostic Imaging technician, a Medical Lab Technician, an Occupational Therapist, a Dental Hygienist and a dental assistant. When the special projects are completed in April and May 2016 we look forward to feedback from both the students and the mentors. We hope this will become a yearly event.