Hennepin Healthcare Launches Internships to Address Worker Shortages
Derrick Wade may just be a senior at Cooper High School, but he knows his way around an ambulance.
“We have tourniquets, we have bandages, we have everything to make sure that you can get to the hospital in a stable position,” said Wade, as he showed off the inside of an ambulance to a CCX News reporter.
This summer, he was one of 20 students getting hands-on experience from professionals in the field as part of Hennepin Healthcare’s Talent Garden program.
“Yeah I want to save people,” Wade said. “Like, deeply, deeply want to save people.”
The goal of the Talent Garden program goal was to expose students of color, like Wade, to different careers in health care.
“I’m very interested in becoming an EMT,” Wade said. “I already signed up for the EMT course from my high school.”
During the internship, they got to shadow doctors, nurses and paramedics. The students also received classroom instruction, all while getting paid $15 an hour.
Fulfilling a need
“There’s a shortage of paramedics. There’s a shortage of nurses. There’s a shortage of a lot of areas,” said Marty Scheerer, the chief of Hennepin Healthcare’s emergency medical services. “And we want more diversity as well.”
Scheerer says Hennepin Healthcare is short about 30 paramedics, so the Talent Garden program was created to not only help fill those openings, but to hire medical professionals who look like the people in the communities they serve.
“It’s really important that we have a lot of diversity in our profession, and this is a great opportunity to do things like that,” Scheerer said.
Wade may not be an EMT just yet, but his experience this summer will go a long way to helping him land a career in the field after high school.
A career where he can save lives and be a positive role model in the process.
“I want to be an inspiration to my little brother,” Wade said.
For more information on the Talent Garden program, you can visit the Hennepin Healthcare website.