System News

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - High school students learn about healthcare careers

group sitting at tables
boy on machine
girls looking at pump
girl looking at computer monitor
kids in classroom
Students practiced interview tips, performed CPR and were hoisted in the air by an automated patient lift at a career expo hosted by Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

The event was organized by Human Resources and led by Andrea Clements, director of HR talent and culture who also serves on the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board for Health Science Careers in High Schools.

“Healthcare is facing a shortage of skilled labor, and there is a skills gap that is growing,” Clements said. “We have to be purposeful in developing talent earlier and earlier. The end game is to build a pipeline of potential talent for the future of Roper St. Francis Healthcare.”

About 60 students from each of the Tri-county area – West Ashley High in Charleston, Hanahan High in Berkeley and Summerville High in Dorchester – participated in the program.

“We put this together as an opportunity to bring in a larger number of students to have a bit of experience with several different careers and to open students’ minds to what a healthcare career can look like – it’s not just nursing or being a doctor,” she said.

Dr. Chris McLain, interim chief physician officer, welcomed students and shared advice as they begin considering career options. Students then spent part of the half-day expo listening to Roper St. Francis Healthcare teammates talk about non-clinical jobs, such as health informatics, coding, the Contact Center and the supply chain. They then rotated through small group sessions that gave students hands-on experience and interaction with Roper St. Francis Healthcare professionals.

Chelsey Bradley, academy coach and testing coordinator for Hanahan High, said the experience was a good one for students, especially since the school has a teacher vacancy in health sciences.

“It’s giving them the tools to be successful after high school,” she said. “It’s been really great.”

Clements expects to offer another session in the spring.

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