Future nurses jumpstart career through Virginia hospital program

Amid a nationwide nursing shortage, Petersburg, Va.-based Southside Regional Medical Center's junior volunteer program is giving aspiring nurses and medical workers a chance to see what it's like to work in a hospital, WTVR reports.

"I'm not only hoping they may go into nursing as a career, but to give them an opportunity to see all professions that make a hospital a hospital," said Cindy Sumner, a nurse manager at Southside Regional.

Teens considering a job in the medical field can get hands-on experience working in a hospital. The volunteers, who must be at least age 14, are assigned to work in specific departments within Southside Regional based on their interests when possible.

"Their shyness has gone away," volunteer manager Lisa Mason told WTVR. "They're doing everything, you know, they're just real confident in walking the call hall, walking through rounds, doing things out of their comfort zone."

Carla Torres, a certified nursing assistant, completed the volunteer program when she was in high school, and said she had the chance to go to Honduras as a translator with the hospital.

"If it wasn't for Southside, I wouldn't have done all this stuff," Ms. Torres said.

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