Recently, local middle school students had the opportunity to visit ECU Health Medical Center and learn about careers in the health care industry.

Grow Local, sponsored by Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce, started in 2018 and is designed to create and unveil career interests, grow the talent pipeline, and connect local businesses to future team members, according to the Chamber.

During the students’ trip to the Medical Center, they visited pharmacies and clinical labs across the hospital, took a tour of the Operations Center, and learned about the role of Organization and Leadership Development.

Nancy Turner, workforce development consultant at ECU Health, said connecting with local students is crucial to let them know of career opportunities available across the health system.

Pitt County students work on a mock lab exercise to place medicine into an IV bag during a Grow Local event at ECU Health Medical Center.

“These events are fantastic for a number of reasons,” Turner said. “For students that aren’t sure of what career path they might be interested in, it’s an opportunity to introduce a new idea and give them some options. For those interested in a career in health care, it’s a chance for us to make that connection for them early. We’re just grateful to have such great community partnerships that allow us to have these opportunities.”

In the Cancer Care Laboratory, students had a chance for a hands-on learning experience as they worked on putting together mock IV medication bags. Laboratory team members walked the students through the process and helped show them a bit of what they do on a daily basis.

Turner said it was exciting to see the students engaging with team members and learning how different team members help patients heal.

“These are things they’re not going to see every day,” Turner said. “It’s a really unique experience to talk to a lab technician, see them in their environment and get to try out part of their job. Having team members willing to take time out of their day and pour into our next generation of the workforce for a few minutes might not seem like much but it could create a passion and career path for a student.”

Another set of students headed to the Operations Center at ECU Health Medical Center, where they learned about the many career options supported throughout the health system, whether at the bedside or out in the community. From Nursing and Pharmacy to Information Technology, Food and Nutrition Services, and more, ECU Health supports community members from a variety of careers.

In the Operations Center, Jacob Parrish, vice president of Capacity and Throughput at ECU Health Medical Center, showed students how a team manages patient movement through a 974-bed hospital.

“As someone who is non-clinical, I think it’s great to show the students that there are careers that are super important to running a hospital that aren’t directly patient facing,” Parrish said. “I think it’s vital to help develop that next generation of folks who are going to serve eastern North Carolina, whether it’s as a care team member or as a support team member. I’m just glad to be a part of this event and if we helped one student realize that they may be interested in a career in health care today, then that’s a great thing.”

Jacob Parrish, vide president of capacity and throughput at ECU Health Medical Center, speaks to students from the Operations Center at ECU Health Medical Center.


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