Pursuing a career in healthcare is a surefire way to make a difference. And it’s one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., with jobs expected to increase by 18% through 2026 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It’s never too early to begin considering a career in healthcare — a career dedicated to helping others. To inspire the next generation of physicians, registered nurses, pharmacy technicians, physical therapists and other in-demand medical occupations, South Texas Health System welcomed 50 PSJA high school students on Friday, March 11, for a morning-long educational session and tour of STHS Edinburg and STHS Children’s facilities.
The students are part of the PSJA school district’s Healthcare Institute, one of eight tracks offered to 8th – 12th graders across the district to help them gain hands-on training and experience — including certifications in some instances — in their field of interest, as well as grow their professional network.
“We know there's a major need to fill healthcare-related roles in our community, and so what better way to get the next generation interested in working in the field than to expose today’s students to the industry through hospital visits and interactions with healthcare staff,” says PSJA Healthcare Institute Director Sulema Solis, MSN-FNP. “We feel encouraged that after today — from being in this environment, hearing the speakers talk about their educational and professional experiences, touring the hospital and getting to ask important questions — that they now have better direction as to what career path they'd like to take.”
STHS leaders, including hospital directors and experienced staff members, visited with the students to discuss their professional journeys in their preferred fields of healthcare and offered encouragement and advice on what it takes to reap a successful, fulfilling career. They were then guided through the two hospitals on the STHS Edinburg campus, visiting various departments to learn about the medical equipment and services, and further interacting with staff members.
“There are just so many possibilities when it comes to working in healthcare and the pandemic has reminded us how vital each of these roles is in providing vital care to the community,” says Lance Ames, STHS Edinburg and STHS Children’s CEO. “We’re honored to welcome this group of bright, motivated students and to have the opportunity to impart our values of patient-centered compassionate care. We hope to welcome them back to STHS down the line as members of the STHS family. There is certainly a place for each and every one of them who wants to help us provide quality, compassionate care to the people of the Rio Grande Valley.”