A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Looking to attract more students to the healthcare field, St. E. offers opportunity to view live operations

By Patricia A. Scheyer
NKyTribune reporter

High school students from river city high schools gathered at the St Elizabeth Training and Education Center on Olympic Boulevard in Erlanger recently to watch Dr. Michael Davenport, General Surgery Specialist, perform a hernia repair operation live on big screen.

It’s all part of a program to get more young people — particularly more Black students — into the healthcare field.

“We worked with the health Coordinator, and the Program Manager to put the group together,” said Lisa Blank, System Director of Organizational Development and the Office of Workforce Development. “We used the river city schools this time because they have more diversity in their students.”

Called the Randolph Initiative, which is geared at getting more Black students into the healthcare system, the program has gone on for few years, but was sidetracked by the pandemic. The class last month was limited to under 150, 70 juniors and seniors from the river city schools who are interested in going into medical professions, and about 70 high school interns from the St Elizabeth Intern program.

“We need more Health Care professionals,” said Blank. “If we can spur interest, get kids excited, want to do more and have a career in medicine, we win.”

The students were able to see things they wouldn’t ordinarily have access to watching. Even though the students have been taking classes that might be health care oriented, there is no real preparation for seeing a live broadcast directly from the operating room.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said one student.

Another student said it was different, but said she was excited to see all the instruments that were used, the robotic arms and the cameras.

“We did have a couple of students who got kind of gray on us,” said Lois Post, Manager of the Health Care Careers Program. “We told them, don’t let this be an indicator of your desire to be in healthcare. But you are right there — it is anatomy and physiology come alive.”

Blank said Dr Davenport doesn’t just do the mechanics of the operation; he keeps up a running commentary about what he is doing and that is very educational too.

Blank is planning on another session with high school students on April 25 at the center off Olympic Boulevard. Post said they have reached out to students from Grant county, Lloyd High School, Holmes High School, as well as some Indiana schools.

“We have other programs, if they like what they see, and want to become more involved,” said Post. “We have the Navigo Scholar program and the St E Nursing Camp to name a few. We also have a shadow program for students who want to shadow professionals to get an idea of the job. We do have an intern program too.”

Blank said they plan on holding these operation-viewing sessions about four times a year, so that they can get students in the area interested in what is out there if they are even thinking about going into any medical field.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment