Lifespan hires students to address staff shortages
Lifespan this fall launched an initiative to hire students as temporary workers to help reduce the number of general workers at Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Miriam Hospital due to the pandemic.
“Healthcare entities and hospitals across the country are feeling the impact of staff shortages, so the program is intended to help address this issue,” said Richard Salit, senior public relations manager at Lifespan.
Students can “develop marketable professional skills, enhance their resumes,” and gain “the experience of working in a field where it’s all about helping others heal,” said Salit. “It gives students the opportunity to earn money and to feel that they are also doing their part to help the health care system and our hospitals at a time when it is a real challenge.
Duties include answering the phone, delivering supplies and meals, assisting with patient discharge, monitoring at-risk patients, managing administrative and patient data, and providing emergency assistance at the command center.
Student workers hired are required to show standard proof of vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccines, and must complete training before starting work at the hospital.
The training consists of several online modules as well as “spending the first day or the first two shifts with a mentor” who can answer questions, said Makoto Kobayashi ’23, who works both as a volunteer and as a worker. part-time paid.
This initiative is different from Lifespan’s volunteer opportunities because it is “paid work for students who are willing to work four to eight hour shifts and in critical, clinical and operational departments,” said said Salit.
Kobayashi’s volunteer work began at Rhode Island Hospital this summer, while his paid work began this semester at Miriam Hospital.
“I wanted to apply because it’s a job that gives me a different glimpse (of) the hospital,” Kobayashi said.
Her responsibilities as a volunteer include walking around patient beds and providing blankets, books, magazines, stress balls and puzzles to patients in Rhode Island Hospital emergency rooms. .
In the temporary paid position, Kobayashi said he was working “directly with patients – moving patients from waiting rooms to triage – and talking with the nurse in charge of which rooms are clean, which patients need to return. and cleaning the beds “.
Addie Allen ’25, a former editor of The Herald, said her responsibilities as a paid part-time worker – answering the phones, restocking supplies in the hospital and transporting patients – are to “support the hospital staff ”.
“I saw that hospitals needed help, and I’m also interested in medicine, so I thought it would be really beneficial to help in a busy, understaffed and busy time. ‘Gain relevant experience in a hospital setting,’ says Allen.
Temporary staff can create their own schedules and work four-hour shifts at their convenience, for a total of four to 40 hours per week. Lifespan management determines where the need is greatest, assigns students to one of three hospitals and assigns specific tasks to that location, according to Salit.
Allen typically works weekends, but notes that the flexibility of work shifts helps plan classes.
So far, the temporary hiring of students has been “quite successful,” said Salit. Lifespan had hired nearly 50 students from schools in Rhode Island, including Brown, the University of Rhode Island and the Community College of Rhode Island, in an interview with The Herald on November 11. “There are still more than 100 (students) who are in preparation,” added Salit.
“It’s really great to have a first-hand view of emergency departments,… triage and the way nurses assess patients and their condition to get them released or admitted to the hospital,” Kobayashi said. , a biology and anthropology hub who plans to attend medical school. . “There are actually a lot of monitors and jargon that people use that I write and constantly consult, so it helps me learn a lot more about the area I’m trying to get into.”
“The fact that more people are joining this mission of providing health care to the community is really encouraging for the people who work here,” said Salit. “Giving students the opportunity to see what it’s like to work in healthcare, especially during a pandemic, is something everyone here is excited about.”
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