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Student Success Stories
Health Careers Pipeline Program
In his home country of Iran, he was a medical doctor and took great pride in helping people of all ages. Unfortunately, his medical license did not transfer to the United States, and although his transcripts could prove his educational achievements, he could not get a much needed medical residency that could prepare him to take the California State Licensing Exams.
Shahram was determined not to let bureaucracy stand in his way, so he set out on a new journey. He was bound to get back to the medical community he had missed so much. He began by enrolling in the SRJC Community Health Worker Program. This gave him the opportunity to use his skills in a new setting and have a profound impact on the community he was now a part of. While in the Community Health Worker Program he decided to apply to the SRJC Nursing Program with hopes of using an Associated Degree in Nursing as a building block to something more. At the same time, he became an active participant in the Healthcare Workforce Development Roundtable and a life science tutor for the SRJC HOPE Program.
In the fall of 2009, Shahram was accepted into the SRJC Nursing Program. He even managed to finish his Community Health Worker Certificate Program during his first semester in the Nursing Program. Through it all he has remained a well liked and trusted tutor for the HOPE Program and a valued member of the Healthcare Workforce Development Program team.
The HWDP Program is so proud of all of his hard work and determination. We have watched him come up against many barriers and overcome them with grace and triumph. He is the epitome of what we try to teach our students every day and a wonderful role model to all that know him. In December 2011, SRJC will present Shahram with his Associates Degree in Nursing and the HWDP team will be there to celebrate this very honorable accomplishment. We have no doubt that this is just one more step in Shahram’s journey in his future career, but we know it is a special one!
This past summer, Teresa received an internship opportunity with the UCSF Research Family Cancer Center where she worked along side Leukemia researchers. She was also invited to deliver a speech of her journey as a college student at the Circle of Honor Reception held at SRJC this summer. In her spare time, Teresa volunteers with the “Be the Match Program.” She is a speaker and a bone marrow recruiter. In the future, Teresa would like to take a vacation to travel all around Mexico to visit the beaches and the archeological cites. Her favorite dish is the Mole Oaxaqueño, “especially the one my mom makes” she said.
The Health Careers Pipeline program was a key tool within her educational goals that expanded her knowledge of the many different careers in the health care industry. When we asked Teresa how the HCP program has contributed to her educational success, she replied, “I had the chance to meet amazing people that have changed my life. Thanks to counselor Luz Navarrette I had the opportunity to attend UCSF to work on a research internship. She is an amazing person and I consider her a role model. The program also helps students when they are having difficulties with their classes and gives students the opportunity to go on field trips to visit different college campuses. It also provides financial support after students successfully complete the requirements. I received great advice from mentors that kept me on the right educational and personal pathways. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be part of this program. It definitely made a difference and impact in my life.”
Is a Health Career Right for You?
Before embarking on a health career path, take a few minutes to think about your own abilities, needs, and hopes. Here are some useful questions to ask yourself:
Do You like to Deal With People?
One of the first questions you should ask yourself is how much you want to deal with people. For instance, it is important for nurses, pediatricians, and occupational therapists to have a warm and caring personality. By contrast, other health careers (like medical lab technology, pathology, or medical illustration) involve little or no personal contract with patients.
Are You Comfortable With Science?
Many (but not all) health careers require you to be a strong science student. All health careers involve some laboratory science, and some programs demand intensive work in the hard sciences (i.e., chemistry, physics, and biology).
Are You Prepared to Keep Up with Developments in Your Field?
Good health care practitioners are committed to giving their patients the best care available. That means, in order to keep up with the latest developments in your field, you’ll need to continue studying and learning throughout your career.
Are You Comfortable in a Health Care Setting?
Are you prepared to deal with a wide variety of people? In many (but not all) health careers, you may spend much of your time in the company of sick, disabled, or dying people. This will become increasingly common in the near future, as the large “Baby Boomer” generation enters old age.
In terms of a clinical setting, you might work in a HMO, community health center, mobile clinic, long-term care facility, private practice office, or even a patient’s home.
You may opt to work in a bustling city or a sleepy suburb – and if you do, you’ll be meeting a legitimate need. However, there’s an urgent need for health practitioners in medically under-served areas, which often are in far flung rural communities or inner-city neighborhoods.
If you would prefer less direct contact with patients, there are numerous other health-related work settings – including pharmacies, laboratories, medical libraries, and corporate, non-profit or government offices, to name just a few. You might be part of a small staff or a huge organization, working at the national, regional, state or local level. The possibilities in this field are almost endless.
Are You a Team Player?
Health care is increasingly becoming a group activity, in which a patient’s recovery depends on how well each member of the health care team performs his or her specific function – and how well they communicate and collaborate with one another. Even dentists – 70% of whom work in a solo private practice –usually supervise and work closely with several staff members.
What Lifestyle Do You Envision?
How do you feel about facing life-and-death situations on a daily basis? Some (though not all) health careers involve coping with emergencies, working extremely long hours, and shouldering heavy responsibility. What kind of lifestyle do you envision? How much time do you hope to spend at work, versus at home?
You need to be realistic with yourself: If you don’t mind long workdays and are good at handling stress, go ahead – pursue an ER-style career. But if you’d rather have a job with regular hours and fewer medical crises, there are plenty of other fulfilling health careers.
Obtained from www.explorehealthcareers.org
Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges