St. Joseph staff take career guidance online during pandemic
Leadership staff from Penn State Health St. Joseph’s Breidegam Birthing Center met online Oct. 15 to share career guidance with local high school students interested in maternal and child health nursing.
The session was one of five that staff will complete as part of the Solve-It Berks initiative created this summer by representatives of the Science Research Institute, Albright College, Career Ready Berks and Berks County Intermediate Unit to provide virtual educational options for students. The initiative features live, interactive Zoom sessions with local business that are also recorded for other students to view at a later time. The platform is available for every pre-K to 12th grade student and teacher in Berks County.
“Because the students can’t come into the building as they have done previously, we’ve been looking for what else we can do to help with career readiness,” said Barb Moyer, director of volunteer services. “Although the maternal and child health nurses were the first group to participate, Solve-It Berks is open to any group in the hospital.”
Staff used the first session to describe their individual career pathways, the types of nursing education programs that exist and potential careers for nursing graduates. Solve-It Berks also provided specific student questions in advance for participants to answer. The experience was a welcome reminder for staff of why they entered the profession, said Kirsten Hakim, director, women’s and children’s services.
“It is reenergizing to talk about what it is like to be new to nursing,” Hakim said. “Sometimes it becomes your second life, your second home. It is nice to get that energy from the students and share it with our staff, making us all excited about nursing again.”
In the remaining sessions, the team will highlight pediatrics, pregnancy, birthing, neonatal intensive care unit and specific student goals.
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