First published in the April 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
About 50 students from the Foothills communities recently had a chance to explore their prospective interest in the healthcare field, when USC Verdugo Hills Hospital hosted a Healthcare Day of Discovery last week.
The event brought students from Crescenta Valley High School, St. Francis High School, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and La Cañada High School to the hospital campus, where they took part in a variety of panels and interactive exercises to showcase the myriad career options in healthcare settings.
“I’m really awed about everything that I have learned and heard about,” said CVHS student Camenae Jones. “I feel so assured now that, even though I might not be on a direct path … to healthcare, I know that I’ll get there eventually and it’s giving me hope that, through persistence, I will be able to make my dreams come true.”
The day’s panels covered topics such as nursing as well as physical, occupational, cardiac and speech therapy, physicians, physician’s assistants, ancillary services, administration and information technology. Students also attended a job fair, took department tours and participated in hands-on activities such as taking vitals, preparing sterile intravenous drips and carotid artery screenings.
“I don’t know myself what I want to do in healthcare — or if I even want to go through that path — but this day’s really been helpful to see if I’m interested in anything,” said Lena Markosian, another CVHS attendee. “They showed us so many occupations that aren’t really related to ‘health’ that much, like IT.
“Ever since I was young, I wanted to do something in health care, but when I entered 10th grade — because of the pandemic and everything — I thought about engineering for a while,” she added. “I guess it’s the child in me that’s like, ‘Try this out, see if there’s anything in it.’ It really helped, and there’s a lot of things I need to think about.”
Last week’s event was the first in two years held in-person, after the COVID-19 pandemic upended the 2020 and 2021 workshops. USC-VHH officials said the student response was especially meaningful in the wake of the challenges from the past two years.
“You have all these lives on the line, and you’re just one person. That’s what I thought before I came here and realized that so many people here work in teams and they’re all so closely knit,” Jones said.
“It gave me a lot of hope that we are able to get ourselves out of situations like these. It makes me very proud to want to be in this community.”