TAMPA, Fla. — Students in one program are getting hands-on healthcare experience to give them a feel for the industry and hopefully inspire them for their future careers.
Deja Roach feels she’s always had an interest in the medical field.
“Ultimate goal, I’m preparing for physical therapy school right now,” said Roach.
She’s a rehab tech at AdventHealth. Roach is also a grad of the B.E.S.T. Academy.
“Even if you’re not sure yet, B.E.S.T. gives you the opportunity to find out where your best fit is in the medicine field,” said Roach.
AdventHealth Tampa is hosting the B.E.S.T Academy, a group of high school students who get hands-on experience in different areas of healthcare. AdventHealth says many of the graduates of the program later choose college paths based on their in-hospital experience.
It’s close to Tracy Rennie’s heart because her daughter did the program twice.
“Our job is to support them, inspire these young high schoolers, so hopefully one day they will want to be in the healthcare field,” said Rennie, the nurse manager for the Surgical PCU at AdventHealth Tampa.
Students have full days from going through simulations to hearing from guest speakers.
With a shortage of healthcare workers nationwide, the hope is to start students early and get them in at the ground floor to inspire and motivate the next generation of healthcare workers.
“If we can start when they’re in high school before they start deciding what career they want, we can give them the exposure and start them getting that compassion and love for the health field, it’s second to none,” said Rennie.
While she prepares for the next chapter, Roach encourages others to take a look at the program.
“If you have that passion, I would just tell the next generation to go for it,” said Roach.