Miller students explore careers in healthcare through Kaiser Permanente Internship Program | News

Fontana Unified School District students have spent the last five weeks networking and exploring potential careers in healthcare through the Kaiser Permanente Internship Program at the Fontana Medical Center.

Thirty-seven Fontana A.B. Miller High School Health Services Academy (HSA) seniors will receive a certificate of completion and letter of recommendation during a graduation ceremony at Kaiser on March 27.

The program serves as a capstone course for Miller’s HSA, a three-year career technical education (CTE) pathway that introduces students to a wide range of medical careers. The HSA first began in 2005 and launched internships in 2006. This internship program returned this year following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are ecstatic we were able to bring this program back and make it happen for our Fontana Unified students. It was something that had been missing the last two years,” said Ami Sandler, the Miller Health Services Academy coordinator, Career Technical Education site liaison and Science Department chair. “The District went above and beyond to make this happen and help any way they can. It has been an amazing experience.”

Students were divided into three-week sessions in February and March this year and were matched into one of 20 departments, including general surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, urology, dietary, linen and store room.

Each senior logged 24 clinical hours during their session, which began with an eight-hour shadow day and was followed by eight two-hour shifts, Monday through Thursday, for two weeks. FUSD supplied bus transportation to the hospital for students every shift.

“We are so happy these opportunities are coming back again,” said Ryan Augustine, the district’s coordinator of Colleges, Careers, and Economic Development. “These work-based experiences are so valuable to our students. It really gives them a leg up when they’re applying for jobs, colleges, and looking to grow their careers.”

Daily tasks varied by department; students provided patient care, sterilized hospital equipment, escorted patients to and from recovery rooms, learned about X-rays and casting, and even observed surgical procedures during the program.

Students interested in gaining more experience in health services this year can apply for the Kaiser Permanente Summer Youth Employment Program, a paid internship that provides similar training.

Miller students are routinely accepted into the Summer Youth Employment Program, thanks to the relationships they have developed earlier in the year, Sandler said.

“This is an experience like none other; they’re setting themselves up for a lot of opportunities and opening up doors for themselves as 17 and 18-year-olds,” Sandler said. “There’s a good chance they may be coming back and working at Kaiser long-term, even after the summer internship program.”

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