Earned Experiences while Training for Tomorrow
November 17, 2022
When Riley Christoffer was approached with an opportunity to apply for a paid apprenticeship in surgical technology at Huron Regional Medical Center (HRMC), she jumped at the prospect. Christoffer, who completed her training in May at Southeast Technical College, is now working on completing her technical training as a certified surgical technologist at HRMC. Christoffer speaks highly of the opportunity to gain first-hand educational experience while getting paid. “It’s hard to work to earn money while completing a required internship 40 hours per week” said Christoffer, “and this apprenticeship helped me to do both.”
Huron Regional Medical Center was one of the first health care organizations in the state to offer paid apprenticeships through the StartTodaySD Registered Apprenticeship Program. Brooke Sydow, EdD, HRMC program manager, was instrumental in initiating registered apprenticeships at HRMC and has continued to secure grant funds while developing initiatives to expand apprenticeships for health care at HRMC.
In 2018, HRMC began offering apprenticeships for juniors and seniors in high school with interest in becoming certified nurse assistants (CNA). In addition to the Youth CNA and surgical technology apprenticeships, HRMC also offers apprenticeships in surgical technology, licensed practical nursing (LPN) and respiratory therapy, and is set to launch a health care based information technology (IT) apprenticeship in January 2023.
The IT apprenticeship will focus on the business side of health care and holds significance to HRMC president and CEO, Erick Larson. “Enrolling in an apprenticeship program in college launched my career in health care. This is a great opportunity to expose individuals to many aspects of IT in healthcare, including analytics, hardware, network systems and the electronic health record,” said Larson.
For Sydow, it’s important to offer a variety of opportunities for those who might not normally be able to leave the community to gain further education, “A major goal of the registered apprenticeship programs is for our workforce at HRMC to reflect our community population, “ she said. Registered apprenticeships at HRMC offer a pathway for individuals interested in health care to explore careers while earning a living and help to secure a future workforce for the demands of rural health care.
More information about HRMC’s apprenticeship programs is available at www.huronregional.org/explore-careers or by calling Teresa Haatvedt, career development specialist at 605-353-6589 or Brooke Sydow, program manager at 605-461-8364.
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