The heart of a community is the relationships and collaborations between the organizations that support it. Teen Services Sonoma and Sonoma Valley Community Health Clinic partnered to host a Medical Career night at the Clinic to benefit a group of teens in the Sonoma.
On March 28th teens, board members and representatives of various careers in the medical field shared an evening of pizza, conversation and questions. Before the evening began, the students were given a tour of the Health Clinic by Maria Carmen Reyes, Outreach/Events Coordinator at SVHC, who also helped coordinate the evening with Francisca Fifis and Jennifer Blackwood. The group learned about some of the career opportunities available and what is needed to take advantage of them.
This was the third Career Night held, and at each of the three, the representatives from the various careers have shared a common theme with the teens “when you find something that you are interested in, pursue it, and don’t give up.” They also stressed the importance of not feeling that you are alone in your pursuit. There are mentors who will help you, and you shouldn’t be reluctant to ask for that help.
Teen Services was fortunate to have representatives from various areas of the medical field, from Eduardo Sanchez a medical interpreter, to Joe Gilmore a paramedic, Victoria Roeher a marriage and family therapist, to nurses and RNs: Jennifer Darby, Carrie Brophy and Ingrid Barry.
Each shared the influences and interests that brought them to the medical profession. Eduardo told the teens that he “gets paid to speak” and provide a service to patients who don’t ask for his services, but are incredibly grateful for the service he provides. He also told the teens that if you are bilingual “to use it—don’t lose that ability and skill.”
Joe is trained to work on both fire engines and ambulances. He started as a volunteer while he was a student at Sonoma Valley High School and then took classes at Santa Rosa Community College, where he got ambulance training. Besides getting to ride around on rescue vehicles, he shared how rewarding it is to see people “on their worst day and make it better for them.”
Being able to help and make a person, most often a stranger’s, life better was a common theme.
Everyone was interested to learn that there are various nursing careers available—for both men and women. Nursing is unique, and there are different ways to approach it. Someone interested in pursuing nursing can do it incrementally allowing them to study, then work and progress to another level of training and expertise.
The teens recognized that careers in the medical profession can be stressful and perhaps emotionally difficult. They asked how the panelists dealt with these situations. The response was consistent, that one needs to rely on the support of those they work with who are having similar experiences and emotions. It is important to communicate what they are feeling.
Lastly, they asked what are the salaries like in these professions. Like other careers the answer was “it depends” on what your training has been, experience, and where one works. It seems that these variables are the same for all professions.
Following the Q&A, the teens had the opportunity to talk personally with each of the speakers and some important connections were made.