Talent Garden interns wrap up six weeks at Hennepin Healthcare
It’s 7:30 a.m. at Hennepin Healthcare, and the 21 future nurses and providers of the 2023 Talent Garden internship program arrive to start their day. What is on the schedule?
For six weeks, for over 30 hours a week, the Talent Garden Interns were immersed in all things healthcare, including:
- Shadowing physicians, APPs, and nurses in Radiology, the Department of Medicine, many specialties in the CSC, the Emergency Department, NICU, Hyperbaric Medicine, Welcome Services, IT, and Next Step plus at Brooklyn Park and Golden Valley Clinics.
- Training with Hennepin EMS, with coursework to become certified as Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
- Life skills workshops on Resume Preparation, Managing Time and Money, and Preparing for College
- Guest speakers from many healthcare professions
The Talent Garden initiative aims to inspire and support youth of color to pursue careers in healthcare through Youth Summit events, mentorship, experience-based learning, and paid internships. Each intern has attended a past Youth Summit, competed for these internship roles, and expressed a strong interest in a career as a physician, nurse, or Advanced Practice Provider.
“I went [to a youth summit], and I fell in love with everything I saw, all the different tools the doctors used, and the panel [discussion.] Then I heard about this internship and knew it was for me.” said intern Juan Jaimes. “[The internship] really fueled my passion for medicine. Now I’m fully dedicated to being a doctor after shadowing and experiencing many breathtaking things; I know this is for me.” Juan will be starting pre-med studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison this fall.
The Talent Garden internship is a unique opportunity to learn and experience various careers in healthcare firsthand. “It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. It’s so different when you see what the doctors are doing, their thought processes, and why they’re doing it,” said Mahad Arif, soon to be a high school senior interested in becoming a physician.
Carsyn Johnson, a soon-to-be junior with a goal to become an RN, said, “Everyone was so welcoming, so caring, and so many staff took an interest [in us]. I felt supported, that people would be there if I needed [help], and that it was okay to ask questions.”
Shadowing in many different departments gave the interns a wide range of healthcare experiences. In the classroom with Hennepin EMS Education two times a week, the interns prepared for the EMR exam, and all 21 passed the written and skills tests. “I learned a lot. EMS training was amazing,” said Devan Lee who enters the University of MN this month.
Elveena Yarpah, a freshman at Winona State University this fall, said, “A lot is going on. There’s a lot to learn each day. No day is the same [in the hospital.]”
Many of the interns have created meaningful and lasting connections with each other as they move on to the next phase of their education. “I wish the internship was longer… I’m blessed to be a part of this program,” said Devan. “I told ten people about this program because it’s so amazing. You get to be a part of this incredible community, full of amazing individuals.”
Scott Howell, Minority Education Coordinator and Title 1 Family Liaison at St. Paul Central High School, led the life skills workshops for the interns. They learned time management, goal setting, and college readiness skills—some basics to help them succeed. Scott also led these sessions last summer and returned this year. “Just watching the program’s growth this year has been fantastic and watching [the interns] learn and interact is rewarding,” he said.
Jim Peters, who manages the Talent Garden, remarked that “It was an absolute delight to debrief with the interns several times a week, and hear not only about what they learned, but also the insights they were gaining into healthcare careers, and how their educational and professional goals were being shaped by their experiences.”
“For some, it reinforced their interest in a specific area, such as Labor and Delivery, Neuroscience or Emergency Medicine. For others, after a behind-the-scenes look at Radiology, our many CSC Departments, or the wide array of services within the Dept. of Medicine, their career horizons were widened,” Jim said. “The EMR training, shadowing experiences, and education give them a competitive edge in college applications and their post-secondary education.”
The Talent Garden wrapped up the six-week internship with a sendoff luncheon on Friday, August 18.
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