About five dozen teens with a yearning to serve the infirmed and expecting took time off from school this week to watch over the shoulders of the doctors and nurses they aspire to be.
Sixty-three juniors and seniors from each of Loudoun’s 17 high schools participated in the 17th annual Job for a Day Program at Inova Loudoun Hospital. Sponsored by the Loudoun School-Business Partnership, the program provided students with two days ofshadowing nurses and doctors to learn more about what it takes to work in the hospital’s departments, including heart and vascular services, labor and delivery, surgical services, the Children’s ER, physical medicine and rehab, medical/surgical, marketing, wound care and trauma services.
New for this year’s students was the option to shadow in the chaplaincy program and in supply chain management. One student even got the chance to shadow the nurse in charge of the hospital’s special projects, which includes building the seven-story, 382,000-square-foot, $300 millionpatient tower that will feature 228 beds andwill open in April.
Cyrena Matingou, a senior at Freedom High School, got the chance to sit in on a C-section procedurewhile in the labor and delivery division.
Matingou, who said she’s had an interest in anatomy since middle school, said she learned just how much of a team effort birthing a baby is. “Everything went really well,” she said.
She said the experience solidified her desire to pursue a medical degree, possibly at Emory University, and start a career as an OB/GYN.
According to Stacey Metcalfe, the hospital’s directorof government and community relations in the western region, the Job for a Day program has done more than provide students with a chance to envision themselves in their desired career roles—it’s inspired them to pursue those careers right here in Loudoun.
Metcalfe said that happened when a Loudoun Valley High School student returned to the Lansdowne hospital working as a clinical staff nurse for Family Centered Care after participating in the program’s inaugural run in 2003.