February 21, 2024
Well being care trade promotes studying on the job to develop workers
Well being care trade promotes studying on the job to develop workers
Craig resident Dajia Lewis, left, is studying whereas working at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Middle by means of the Affected person Care Assistant program that helps to introduce people to the medical skilled. Sarah Delgado, nursing assistant licensed lead, tutors Lewis on a vitals monitor in an empty affected person room.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & At the moment

After two months on the job within the Affected person Care Assistant program at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Middle, 22-year-old Dajia Lewis is considering the opportunity of attending nursing faculty.

The Moffat County Excessive Faculty graduate stated she loves studying however has by no means been nice at formal educational testing. That’s the reason this system of hands-on studying whereas being paid on the job in Steamboat Springs was so interesting to her as an entrée into the medical career. Three days every week for 12-hour days, she is studying whereas shadowing an teacher or nurse about every thing from tricks to ease nervous surgical sufferers to the elimination of an IV or catheter.

“It’s a great way to get your foot within the door. It is a particular good first step,” Lewis stated. “You be taught loads, and everyone seems to be very nice and useful.”



The Affected person Care Assistant program is designed for staff 18 and older with no medical certification or well being care expertise required and begins with six weeks of on-the-job coaching. This system by means of UCHealth is only one manner the medical career is working to develop its personal workers in an period of staffing shortages because the U.S. inhabitants ages and wishes extra medical companies.

“It’s good to have the ability to be taught as you go,” stated Lewis, who was employed full time in October after beginning in August. “It’s actually a variety of teamwork, and I feel that’s a superb work surroundings to be in.”



Judy Davidson, UCHealth nursing assist program coordinator, famous in a UCHealth media launch that nursing assistants present roughly 70% of direct affected person care in hospital settings.

“We realized we may prepare folks with little to no expertise in our personal surroundings, permitting them to get hands-on medical expertise to fulfill the wants of hospitalized sufferers and interdisciplinary groups. When models have sufficient PCAs and CNAs to fulfill sufferers’ care wants, nurses are in a position to concentrate on their affected person’s medical wants,” stated Davidson, noting well-staffed medical models assist cut back burnout and turnover of nursing workers.

Steamboat Springs Excessive Faculty graduate Christina Pryce discovered her skilled ardour by means of the SSHS Med Prep program and now works as an x-ray technologist at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Middle.
UCHealth/Courtesy picture

In accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the necessity for registered nurses is predicted to develop by 6% by means of 2031, and that’s along with a big variety of nurses who left the career throughout COVID-19 pandemic.

For the reason that launch of the PCA program in November 2021, participation has grown to roughly 200 assistants studying on the job throughout the 12-hospital UCHealth system.

One other longtime program that helps to introduce teenagers to the medical career is Med Prep by means of Steamboat Springs Excessive Faculty. Med Prep college students can take part in 15-hour rotations in all kinds of YVMC departments starting from pharmacy to bodily remedy, from obstetrics to the emergency division.

Former Med Prep pupil Christina Pryce discovered her skilled ardour by means of this system and now works as an X-ray technologist at Yampa Valley Medical Middle.

“I ended up being actually fascinated by radiology and having the ability to look inside a human physique with simply the contact of a button,” stated Pryce, who graduated from SSHS in 2017. “After my rotation by means of the radiology division, I knew that this was what I needed to do. The techs that I shadowed with in radiology had been actually nice mentors who didn’t hesitate to elucidate how every thing labored. Now, a few of them are my co-workers who proceed to assist me change into higher every single day.”

Maddie Labor, a 2016 SSHS graduate, calls the Med Prep program “an unimaginable and distinctive expertise.” Labor at present works at Steamboat Orthopaedic & Backbone Institute as a medical and analysis assistant and scribe, and he or she has been accepted into medical faculty to start out in July 2023 with hopes of changing into a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.

Kipp Rillos, former instructor of the SSHS Med Prep class from 2010 to 2021, estimates greater than half of the scholars who accomplished this system are learning or working in well being care at present.

Med Prep grew in reputation by means of the years and now has 18 college students within the senior yr internship class, instructor Randy Homan stated. Shadowing alternatives have expanded into different well being care areas comparable to EMS, ski patrol, and veterinarian and surgical workplaces.

One other avenue to develop medical professionals in home is the brand new UCHealth Ascend Profession Program that began in February. This system helps workers proceed working however obtain monetary help for continued training to advance of their well being care careers. The UCHealth system helps to cowl the price of choose medical certifications, studying packages and faculty levels for workers, starting from a medical assistant certification to a grasp’s diploma in social work.

“Presently, we’ve got a number of workers working at YVMC whereas advancing their training by means of the Ascend Profession Program and different tuition help and reimbursement packages which can be out there,” stated Mary Wirta, YVMC human sources supervisor. “These packages are a big funding by UCHealth and one that’s positively impacting our recruitment and retention efforts.”