Silver Cross Hospital Supports Lincoln-Way Student Intern Program
Three mornings a week for 10 weeks, 23 Lincoln-Way East High School students set aside their text books and came to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox for real-life lessons. The free program offers a valuable experience and great opportunity for seniors enrolled in human anatomy and physiology class allowing them real insight into medical careers
During the fall semester the students learned from college textbooks in a classroom. In the spring semester, they took part in a real healthcare setting. Under the supervision of their classroom instructor and hospital managers, the students rotated through 17 areas including the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), a nursing unit, diagnostic imaging, endoscopy, laboratory, respiratory care, emergency department, volunteer services, security, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, Cardiac Cath Lab, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross, The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, and the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center in Homer Glen.
Because the students desire some sort of healthcare career but may not fully understand how diverse the medical field really is, they spend time in each department.
“This program provides a very unique opportunity for our students to obtain vocational experience and knowledge in the medical field, whereby they are provided the tools to make more educated decisions regarding their future career paths at an early age,” said Scott Fletcher, Dean of Students and teacher for the Human Anatomy & Physiology class at Lincoln-East High School. “It also gives students applying to college a competitive edge.”
In order to be considered for the Anatomy Physiology Medical class, students must undergo a rigorous selection process weighing their qualifications to other candidates. Students must meet criteria including a combination of excellent grades, interest in the healthcare field as a career, complete an application process, acquire teacher recommendations, exhibit a discipline for a dedicated work ethic and participate in an interview process.
“This internship exposes you to different aspects of the hospital that helps you narrow down what type of career you may want to pursue,” said Lincoln-Way East senior Spencer Smith, who will be attending college this fall and majoring in biochemistry with plans to pursue a career in orthopedics. “From my internship at Silver Cross Hospital, I was able to see first-hand what specific jobs do and how they benefit patients. I learned so much more from this internship than what I would have learned by just reading about healthcare jobs in a textbook.”
For 13 years, the program has provided students with a window to their future. Many former interns have even come back after graduation to work at Silver Cross in many areas including admitting, respiratory therapy, nutrition services and the emergency department.