Sister Islands students considering a career in the healthcare profession can gain invaluable experience by learning from mentors at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, with Cayman Brac’s Faith Hospital running a successful internship programme that is helping to guide Cayman’s healthcare professionals of tomorrow.
Each year since 2009, Faith Hospital’s intern programme has welcomed two students from Cayman Brac High School’s graduating class to come and learn as much as they can from staff at the hospital. All students who take part in the internship programme face an interview before they begin the mentoring process.
Dr Srirangan Velusamy, Director of Sister Islands Health Services, says creating an open line of communication between the hospital and students plays an important part in encouraging young people to make healthcare a career choice.
“We encourage the high school students to think of healthcare as their profession by meeting with them during their careers day as well as any other opportunity we get,” he says. “Our interns work with us for a year in different sections of the hospital, gaining important exposure so they can properly appreciate what it means to be a healthcare professional.”
Dr Velusamy says staff mentor students by frequently meeting with them and their parents, guiding students to apply for their university course of choice. It’s an on-going relationship that goes far beyond the year spent at the hospital, he confirms.
“Our mentorship continues while they are studying at university,” he says. “We believe this is crucial to the success of our programme because we want the students to be successful and complete the course. Mentoring students right up until they graduate is very important to us.”
Dr Velusamy says that he and his staff would like to see all students who have undertaken Faith Hospital’s internship programme return to the Cayman Islands after their studies and in particular to come back to work at Faith Hospital.
Ms Lizzette Yearwood, Health Services Authority Chief Executive Officer, is pleased at how this programme continues to grow.
“I am delighted to report that two of the interns are already undergoing nursing training, two are undertaking a pre-med programme and one is studying for a pharmacy degree,” she said. “It is fantastic to see Cayman’s young people embrace the profession in this way and we hope to be able to encourage even more young Caymanians to follow similar career paths in the years to come.”