The goal of the expanding high school internship program is to educate students from around the Cleveland area about the various opportunities offered to them through healthcare in the hopes that they will find their niche and eventually enter the field, possibly back at Cleveland Clinic. Several interns have already answered this call and are in the process of completing their education to become healthcare professionals. Others who are part of the 2009 program have determined through their experiences during the summer that they want to go into healthcare and return to Cleveland Clinic. In doing so, these current interns are helping the Office of Civic Education Initiatives to reach its goal - they are leaving the internship with a plan for the future.
"As interns, we are not only experiencing new, unforgettable things. Instead we have a special knowledge acquired from experience, a knowledge that tells us the world needs us now more than ever. We can spend the summer here and learn as much as possible about ourselves and our interests, so that when the careers of doctors and nurses are completed and left behind, we will be readily prepared to pick those jobs up, right where they left off."
Name: Monica Marti
School: John Marshall High School, Cleveland State University
Program: Science Internship Program for Nursing
When Monica Marti entered the Science Internship Program for Nursing in 2006, she had just finished her sophomore year in high school. It was the inaugural year of the nursing program, and only the second year that high school students had been invited to participate in internships at Cleveland Clinic. Marti was interested, but she wasn't certain what it was that drew her.
"I really wanted to go into the medical field, but I didn't know what I wanted to do," she says. "I was leaning towards nursing, but I wasn't too satisfied with that, and I didn't want to be a doctor."
Marti was placed in the emergency department. "I got to see some things that were really gory and gruesome, but amazing at the same time. It opened my eyes," she says.
In addition to emergency medicine, Marti was able to shadow in other departments, which only strengthened her interest in the area in which she had found herself. "I decided that emergency medicine was exactly the department I wanted to go into," she says.
The nurses on Marti's floor encouraged her to shadow other professionals and get a feel for as many careers as possible. It was because of this opportunity that Marti discovered the career she thought would fit her best.
"I had no idea that there was such a job as a Physician's Assistant," she says. "I thought, Wow, this is perfect for me!"
Having decided to pursue this field, Marti is now studying at Cleveland State University. She is majoring in Health Sciences and Spanish with a minor in Biology, and is planning to receive her Master's degree from Cleveland State's Physician Assistant program.
Marti has also returned to Cleveland Clinic, this time as an employee. She has been working in the heart center as a Health Unit Coordinator since May 2008. Her current supervisor, Terri Murray, was her mentor during her internship in 2006. As part of her current work, she answers phones, responds to call lights, schedules patients for tests and lets them know what they have scheduled for each day, and orders supplies.
"It's really hard to find a job where I can get the experience I had with this program. Without the internship program, I would probably still be very confused about what I want to do in the future," says Marti.
Marti is grateful for the experience the internship program provided her and the direction it offered. "I think it's a great experience," she says. "You can try a specific field and see if you like it. I love this program. It changed my life."