THS student learning healthcare industry from the ground up

By Barry H. Hendrix
Ashley Figgers is the first Work-Based learning student from Thomasville High School to work at the Thomasville Regional Medical Center (TRMC).
The THS junior works in the materials department, and it is her job to help maintain all the healthcare and office supplies for various departments. Figgers will fill supply lists or “pick tickets” sent by the different departments such as the pharmacy, lab and emergency room. The Work-Based student helps distribute those materials via cart.
For a student who is interested in a healthcare career, it is an opportunity to interface with all the medical center’s departments from the ground up. “She (Figgers) is learning basically how the process works from start-to-finish,” said Lori Butler, manager of materials, management, and procurement, Figgers’ immediate supervisor. 
The student is becoming more familiar each day with the products or supplies used at the center. 
“We are so thankful that TRMC wants to work with our school,” said Kay Larrimore, career tech teacher and supervisor of the Work-Based Learning Program at THS. “It’s a blessing. We are very excited.”
Having a THS student work at the medical center is just one of the many ways TRMC is joining forces with the greater Thomasville community. “We want to work with the community,” Butler said. Through a relationship with the high school, “we want to bring the community to us.”
TRMC already has a partnership with the local campus of Coastal Alabama Community College through a nursing “precept” or intern program with a professional nurse, said Jodie James, director of operations at TRMC.
While Figgers is the first THS student to have the opportunity to work at TRMC, there is the potential to have other Work-Based students work in other TRMC departments, James said. “How can we build a strong workforce,” she asked. The goal is for high school students to experience different healthcare careers and see which one fits them best before graduating to college. Opportunities for members of the community to work with the local medical center helps build the foundation for TRMC. “We love having everyone here.”
A vision for TRMC campus is to one day include a separate building for healthcare career education.
Pictured are Kay Larrimore, career tech teacher at Thomasville High School and supervisor of the school’s Work-Based Learning Program; THS student Ashley Figgers; Jodie James, director of operations at TRMC; and Lori Butler, manager of materials, management, and procurement.
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