With the recent start of the school year, students are beginning new educational experiences – and for many in our region who are preparing for health-related careers, their education includes clinical training at Covenant Health.
In July, Covenant Health and Lincoln Memorial University welcomed 33 medical students to clinical rotations at Covenant Health hospitals. These students are in their final two years of medical school, and their rotations allow them to apply classroom knowledge to real-world medical situations. The students train at Covenant Health facilities as part of our educational partnership with LMU’s DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am very proud of this partnership, which is a valuable resource for the future of healthcare in our region.
The LMU students are working and learning at three Covenant Health hospitals: Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, and Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System in Morristown. Under the direct supervision of physicians, the medical students interview and examine patients, review clinical information and practice documentation, make hospital rounds and participate in team meetings. They work side by side with Covenant Health employees and about 150 of our affiliated physicians who serve as their preceptors and teachers.
LMU students also have the opportunity to take part in elective experiences at Covenant Health in areas such as primary care, neurology, perinatology, radiology and orthopedics. About 160 LMU medical students have rotated through Covenant Health facilities during the past two years, and more than 300 future physicians have received clinical training at Covenant Health hospitals.
Covenant Health also partners with Tennessee Wesleyan University–Fort Sanders Nursing Department to offer a bachelor of science in nursing degree and an RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses. In 2017 we provided clinical experiences for more than 1,000 students, including nursing students from 10 colleges and students in surgical technology, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, rehabilitation therapies, and other specialty areas. About 16 universities routinely place students at Covenant Health facilities for clinical training.
We are also committed to ongoing education for our employees. Covenant Health offers a nurse residency program for recent graduates, and we support advanced certification and continuing education for employees throughout our organization. We provide focused training for those with leadership responsibilities, and we are launching a new “emerging leader” program for those who have been identified as potential future leaders at Covenant Health.
While no one can see the future, I have the privilege of seeing tomorrow’s healthcare professionals learning and working throughout Covenant Health. With their knowledge, energy and enthusiasm, the future is indeed bright! As this fall semester gets underway, I am confident that our educational partnerships and training opportunities will prepare these students well for successful careers and service to our communities.