Area Teens Find PATH to Health Care Field


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When I was a young teen, I thought I might want to someday be a nurse or even a doctor. Helping people was something I enjoyed and television glamorized the medical profession. As soon as I was old enough, I trained to be a candy striper. For those who are too young to recognize the term, candy stripers were hospital volunteers who wore white and red pinstriped uniforms.

Within weeks, I realized I could not stomach a career in medicine. Blood and needles tend to have me sick and passing out. After several months of refilling ice, distributing magazines and rocking babies, my supervisor and I had a heart to heart. While I was a hard worker and fast learner, my stomach was just not set up for hospital work.

However, many young folks, given the opportunity to experience the career offerings of the health care system, will flourish. Even for teens with weak stomachs, volunteer experiences lead to more informed decision making when it comes to furthering one’s education and entering the workforce. Volunteering also looks great on college applications and résumés.

For teens enamored with health care, High Point Regional Health has a program that well exceeds the candy striper offerings of the past. They offer PATH (Promoting the Advancement of Teens in Health care), which is an opportunity for high school students to partner with staff throughout the health system and experience a real work environment. In addition to learning more about the health care field, this program promotes service consciousness in the community and teaches skills for the workplace. 

Here is what PATH offers area teens:

  • Introduces students to the health system through challenging volunteer opportunities and educational activities.
  • Links students with health care professionals who will provide guidance and serve as mentors.
  • Provides career exploration and shadowing opportunities.
  • Promotes and fosters self-esteem, healthy lifestyles, character and service consciousness.
  • Provides interactive Hot Topic sessions related to health care.

While nearly everyone who completed the training and made the commitment to candy striping was accepted, the number of openings for the PATH program is limited. Only 75 students will be accepted, including students from the previous summer.

To qualify as a PATH volunteer, applicants must:

  • Be at least 14 years of age by June 1 and entering the ninth grade. 
  • Commit to volunteering two half days or one full day each week; the schedule will be set and will remain throughout the program. 
  • Commit to volunteering a minimum of seven weeks during the summer. 

Both new students and returning students from PATH 2015 must complete an application to be considered for the 2016 program. The applications and criteria are currently available on the High Point Regional website and must be submitted by Friday, January 29, 2016.

You can also call the Contact Center at 336-878-6888 with questions.

About High Point Regional Health

High Point Regional Health, a member of UNC Health Care, is a private, not-for-profit health care organization with approximately 2,500 staff. High Point Regional offers 351 private beds for medical and surgical patients serving over 120,000 patients each year. High Point Regional has its foundation in six primary service areas: Carolina Regional Heart Center, The Hayworth Cancer Center, The Neuroscience Center, The Esther R. Culp Women's Center, The Emergency Center and The Piedmont Joint Replacement Center. High Point Regional's mission is to provide exceptional health services to the people of this region. For more information, visit HighPointRegional.com.

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About This Blog

Myra Wright has been the editor of Piedmont Parent since 2007 and is mom to three kids, ages 16, 13 and 8. Here, she blogs about parenting as well as news and events for Piedmont Triad parents.

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