Piedmont Columbus Regional Youth Volunteer Program giving teens hands-on experience

Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 10:30 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The U.S healthcare industry is experiencing a severe shortage of workers at every level—a crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Hospital Association estimates that the industry will face a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians and other roles by 2033.

Piedmont Columbus Regional is trying fix that problem by promoting the healthcare field for teens as part of its Youth Volunteer Program.

For the past few weeks, 17-year-old Kayla Campbell has spent part of her summer helping patients and learning hospital operations at Piedmont Columbus Regionals’ Northside Campus.

Campbell, a dually enrolled senior at Hardaway High School and Columbus Technical College, says volunteering is the perfect choice for her because she wants to be a nurse.

She said her own medical condition sparked her interest in healthcare.

“I had a bad immune system and I always wanted to explore and learn about asthma,” said Campbell. “You know where does it come from, how bad it is.”

Campbell is working hard.

“I make calls, and take supplies and take people’s blood pressure, heart rate and temperature,” said Campbell.

Along with close to 40 others getting hands-on experience in various departments as youth volunteers.

Organizers told News Leader 9 it’s a way to help students learn the ropes while the hospital builds relationships with future healthcare workers.

“The best part about it is the fact they get to try to be hired to get a position like in the real world,” said PCR Volunteer Services Coordinator Kelsey Kean.

Students filled out an application, wrote a 200-word essay and had an in-person interview.

“It kind of opens kid’s eyes to there they want to go and what they want to do,” said hospital X-ray and CT Tech Johnathan Gianangeli.

The program giving teens a sense of confidence and knowledge beyond the classroom.

“I try to come in and say hey how are you. I try to make them feel positive,” said Campbell.

“The best thing about this program is getting everyone involved and growing our community stronger and helping the doctors and nurses as best we can,” said Kean.

Find out more information on the Youth Volunteer Program here.