Students in the Women in Science and Healthcare (WISH) program completed their orientation session at St. Mary's Medical Center on September 10.
They were given a program orientation by Mieasha L. Harris, the center's Volunteers Manager. Students filled out the necessary paperwork to gain their name badges, obtaining official volunteer status with St. Mary's.
"You can do a lot of things as a volunteer here," Harris said. "From manning the front desk to helping a patient with simple things like closing their blinds or finding a nurse for them. Ask questions. That's your job while you're here. Learn as much as you can and make contacts with people who are doing what you're interested in."
After the excitement of donning the bright orange lanyards that held the cards displaying their names and pictures, students met Marie Gagnon, Director of Child & Adolescent Services. Gagnon gave them a brief history of the medical center, which was originally founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1857. She also emphasized the importance of patient care and patient privacy. "What we do here is all about the patient."
They were also introduced to Kathleen Parker, a clinical nurse specialist who shared her career in medicine. "You can do a lot of things in this field now that wasn't previously available for you to do," Parker said.
WISH students shared their desire to work in the medical field. "I want to be a surgeon. I want to be able to see what happens in an operating room," said Lupe Sandoval, '21. Others, like Angelica Balingit, '21, said they want to study pediatrics. A few shared their hopes to study forensic science, OBGYN post delivery, and learn more about DNA testing, which is not done at St. Mary's.
Each visit will introduce WISH students to various aspects of working in a medical center and will help them understand the complexity of medical care. This year they will, for example, visit the cath lab, as well as learn about infectious control and behavioral health. The culminating tour is expected to be a visit to the operating rooms.
These nine young women will visit the medical center every month, with an option to increase volunteer hours during the weekends and after school. The opportunity to volunteer is not limited to WISH students. Anyone who is at least 16-year-old and interested in volunteering can apply.
NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS: Mercy High School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Mercy High School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.