Piedmont Columbus Regional offering Muscogee Co. students hands-on experience

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 11:15 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Muscogee County Schools are partnering with Piedmont Columbus Regional hospital. For the first time, the hospital has launched a program that helps students interested in medical careers.

The program will only last a week. But, for seven days, students will gain hands-on experience shadowing hospital employees doing what they hope to do one day.

“I’m really, really, really excited about this opportunity, especially being like the first batch of students that get to do this,” said Muscogee County Student, Tatyana Wilson

When COVID hit roughly three years ago, Wilson, a senior at Spencer High School, was one of millions nationwide learning virtually.

“I had my intro to health care class and I struggled a lot in that class mostly because I was at home and I learned better when I’m in person,” Wilson adds.

Her dedication to becoming a Medical Examiner landed her a spot as a participant in Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Piedmont Futures program. It’s a partnership with Muscogee County School District. Students will be shadowing hospital employees for a week.

“They’ll be exposed to a lot of different areas of the hospital -- lab, radiology, the operating room, nursing,” said Scott Hill, Piedmont Columbus Regional’s CEO.

The latest data from the Georgia Board of Health Care workforce, indicates there are roughly 25,000 physicians working in a state with well over 10 million people.

Hill and Muscogee County School District Superintendent Dr. David Lewis say programs like these help fill that void.

“We’ve seen early retirements and we’ve seen folks that are later in their career, you know, maybe leaving a little bit earlier than they might normally would have,” said Hill.

“It helps us build the workforce for our community, as well as giving our students the opportunity to experience it in the real world,” said Dr. Lewis.

27 other Muscogee County high schoolers, like Leland Williams, who attends Northside High, will also be participating. Williams says his father inspired him to join the medical field.

“He works as a Med Tech. So when I was younger, I got to go around this lab, look at slides, do whatever and I got to explore around the lab, seeing people make bacteria cultures,” said Williams.

As the first group of students to participate, Williams says he’s excited to learn more about the field.

“I think it’s great. I really want to get in the medical field when I’m older. So it’s a good start for me so I can find my footing,” said Williams.

Earlier, students attended orientation where they learned more about the program. They will return Wednesday and Friday to begin shadowing.