Student Ambassadors Graduate from BFMC Program

GREENFIELD — Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Volunteer Services Department graduated its second class of student ambassadors at a recent ceremony in the hospital’s conference rooms. The seven students, all of whom are high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, represented four Franklin County High Schools.

During the seven-week program, each student rotated through two departments — choosing from Radiology, Rehabilitation Services, Laboratory, inpatient nursing units, Food Services, Pharmacy, and Cardiopulmonary. Students shadowed physicians, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, dieticians, and more, learning about the many careers within the hospital, and how all the jobs and departments connect to each other. Lunchtime was spent with supervisors, debriefing from the morning’s activities.

Besides rotating through departments, student ambassadors also attended three special events: a “Blood and Guts” introduction to BFMC departments, a career night with a panel of BFMC professionals, and a pizza lunch with BFMC administrators discussing their health career paths. All seven students also had the opportunity to observe surgeries.

Khadiyjah Munir, a student at Frontier Regional High School, commented, “before I started this program, I was unaware of how much work goes into caring for a patient. I soon learned how intricate the running of a hospital is. My experience at BFMC taught me that caring for a patient is a team effort, and requires the hard work of each and every employee and volunteer.”

Volunteer Services coordinator Pam Barber commented, “the students started seeing the connections among the departments and came to appreciate the teamwork involved in treating a patient. They were amazed at how many careers are available in health care and how everything — from medications to infection control, from food services to discharge planning — intertwines and plays an important role in the patient’s care.”

“I was constantly amazed by the caliber of these students as I watched them at work and listened to the questions they asked,” said Barber. “They are the cream of the crop at their schools, and we were very lucky to have them join our program. Because of their experiences this summer, at least four students made up their minds to pursue careers as physicians.”

Brandt Miller, from Mohawk Trail Regional High School, was one student whose experience changed his outlook on his future. Miller spent much of his time shadowing Dr. Stephen Fox, a surgeon with Associated Surgeons of Greenfield. “If you had asked me what I wanted to do a year ago, I would have told you I’d like to be an engineer in a recording studio,” Miller said. “Thanks to this program, my eyes have been opened, and I now plan on going, head on, into the medical field.”

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