The seven Rockwood School District high school seniors who took part in the Partners in Education
(PIE) Project Interface experience at BJC HealthCare this summer thought they wanted to go into the medical field before the internship began.
Now, after shadowing employees and embedding in various parts of the health care organization over the summer, they all know this is what they want to do for a career. They even picked up a few ideas on different ways they could pursue their passions in medicine.
all came in kind of set on something, but it opened up more horizons for us," said Eureka High's
Kay Satterthwaite, who wants to be an operating room nurse. "There are so many more things we can do. We shouldn’t
just be set on one thing.”
The PIE Project Interface
program gives qualified Rockwood seniors the chance to enjoy an immersive internship experience in a specific career area. Satterthwaite; Marquette High's
Mayah Evans, Kaitlinn Knittig, Shreya Srikanth and Julia Vo; Lafayette High's
Kayla Hoover; and Rockwood Summit High's
Nivedita Prabhu all logged at least 75 hours of experience with BJC HealthCare through Project Interface.
They didn't know each other well before the internship but, through the process, they bonded over shared experiences.
"It's interesting to wonder, later, if we’re going to find each other as we
go through our careers and still talk about this experience,” said Evans, who wants to be a nurse practitioner specializing in emergency medicine and international rescue relief.
Jennifer Irvin, BJC's school-community health education partner, supervised the students throughout the different phases of their internship, which included job shadowing, interviews with staff members, self-directed passion projects outside the hospital and stints in moulage: serving as test patients for doctors and nurses in training.
really enjoyed meeting all the new people and making those new connections,
hearing their stories about what their jobs are like and what draws each
individual to work there," said Knittig, who wants to go to nursing school then possibly study to become an occupational therapist.
All of the students -- whether they're an aspiring pediatric nurse like Hoover or an aspiring pediatric critical care specialist like Srikanth, an aspiring interventional cardiologist like Vo or an aspiring surgeon like Prabhu -- took away valuable lessons from the experience.
"Getting that hands-on experience really shows you that you want to be in a hospital setting at some point in the future," Srikanth said. "This is where I want to be."