February 28, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Offers Unique Student Training Program:

College students considering careers in healthcare don’t usually get to try out the field before committing to it as their area of study. But at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, students are getting a firsthand look at what it’s like to work in the hospital before they decide to pursue a career in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, or a related health field.

Called the Care Extender Internship Program, this novel program has been in existence at UCLA since 1994 and provides services that are beneficial to both students and hospital staff.

Silva Thomas, who manages the program, actually began as one of its early participants while attending UCLA in 1996.

“I gained invaluable insight as a care extender when I was a UCLA biochemistry major interested in pursuing pharmacy,” Thomas said. “However, after spending considerable time in the hospital as a care extender, I realized I probably was better suited for healthcare management.”

Consequently, Thomas started working as a volunteer to manage the program and was later hired to direct it.

The Care Extender program began at UCLA’s Santa Monica campus and was later expanded to its Westwood location.

Approximately 550 students are enrolled annually in the year-long internship program, which is run by student volunteers who earn leadership opportunities through their participation.

To become a care extender, students undergo a competitive process consisting of an entrance application and a series of interviews. After acceptance, each care extender is assigned to a specific hospital area for a 13-week period, followed by rotations through other hospital departments during the year.

In addition to getting a firsthand look at health careers, care extenders do exactly what their title implies – extend the services provided to hospital patients and visitors. Dr. Wally Ghurabi, medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, has worked with many care extenders throughout the years.

“We like having care extenders in our department because it’s satisfying to help launch a student’s future medical career,” Ghurabi said.

“The students also provide a lot of assistance within the department. Care extenders assigned to the ER may get to watch physicians perform medical procedures such as suturing or draining fluids. At the same time they may be asked to run an errand, help transport a patient, or simply help with tasks to comfort patients and their families.”

Of the thousands of students who have come through the Care Extender program since its inception, approximately 85 percent have gone on to pursue medical careers.

Tigran Garabekyan participated as a care extender during his junior year as a UCLA undergraduate majoring in chemical engineering.

After his experience in the program, he realized that a career in chemical engineering wouldn’t fulfill him and changed his major to pre-medicine.

Ten years later, Garabekyan is finishing his residency in orthopaedic surgery and is on his way to practicing as a physician.

“The Care Extender program gave me the opportunity to interact with patients and while I was participating in it, something clicked,” Garabekyan said. “I was recognized as someone who was valuable. It felt very meaningful to be part of it.”

Another program alum, Erica Djen, now is working as an ICU nurse at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Djen was a care extender for a year while studying at the UCLA School of Nursing and credits the experience for solidifying her decision to work in nursing.

“I wanted to obtain more experience interacting with patients before my clinical rotations began, which is why I chose to become a care extender,” Djen said. “The experience helped me become more comfortable with bedside skills and I also had an opportunity to meet many people, some of whom still remembered me when I was applying for and started working in the unit.”

New care extenders are recruited for the program four times per year: February, May, August, and November.

To find out more about the program, visit www.uclahealth.org/careextender.

in News
Related Posts

Hollywood Royalty to Shine at 96th Oscars: First Wave of Star-Studded Presenter Lineup Unveiled

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Incredible Lineup of Actors and Previous Oscar Winners Announced Executive producer and showrunner Raj Kapoor, along with executive producers Molly...

Vote Smart, Vote Early: Streamlining Your 2024 Presidential Primary Experience in L.A. County

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Skip the Lines and Save Time – Your Guide to Early Voting Options  In preparation for the upcoming 2024 Presidential...

Iconic Venice Beach Sculpture and Landmark to be Removed, Returned to Artist’s Property

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Since the Money, Effort or Desire to Purchase the Piece Appears to Not Be There, the Artist Wants It Back...

(Video) Heartfelt candlelight vigils in Westchester and West Hollywood for Nex Benedict

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

The non-binary 16 year old student with Choctaw ancestry died in Owasso, Oklahoma after being beaten by three older high...

Sweet Lady Jane Sparks Hope of Return – Popular Bakery Hints at Reopening Across LA

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

After Abrupt Closures, Beloved Bakery Hints at a Comeback, Leaving Fans Intrigued  Sweet Lady Jane, a Los Angeles cake bakery...

Waymo’s LA Expansion Hits Roadblock: CPUC Temporarily Halts Self-Driving Company’s Plans

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

California Public Utilities Commission suspends Waymo’s service expansion for 120 days. California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has put a temporary...

Real Estate Giant Funds LAPD Union Fund to Sway L.A. City Council Election in March

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Santa Monica Company Responsible for LA’s Largest Mass Eviction Gives $400,000 Santa Monica-based Real estate investment trust company Douglas Emmett...

Santa Monica College Unveils 2024 Spring Jazz Series Lineup

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Tickets for each concert are priced at $10 and can be purchased in advance The Santa Monica College Music Department...

Downtown Wellness Center Bridges Gap Between Psychedelics and Meditation

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

The Center Has Partnered With Local Agencies and Gave Free Sessions to Around 500 Veterans in Two Years By Zach...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Calls Special Board of Education Meeting

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

SMMUSD Gathers to Address Time-Sensitive Resolutions In a press release sent on Saturday, February 24, The Santa Monica-Malibu School District...

 39th Independent Spirit Awards Celebrates Independent Cinema in Santa Monica

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Hosts Annual Awards Ceremony Amid Pro-Palestinian Protest The 39th Independent Spirit Awards ceremony, another precursor to the...

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Landlords’ Challenge to Rent-Control Laws

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

New York Landlords’ Bid to Challenge Rent-Control Laws Fails The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a significant property rights...

Ocean Park Triplex Hits Market Again After 36 Years at $1.6M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The property presents an enticing opportunity for owner-users or developers For the first time in over 36 years, this triplex,...

Cher Drops Price of Her Seven-Bedroom Malibu Mansion by $10M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The legendary singer bought the parcel for $2.95 million over 30 years ago By Zach Armstrong Music icon Cher has...

(Video) Baltaire’s DJ Brunch is Ready to Make Your Weekend Fabulous

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Baltaire is America’s Favorite Neighborhood Steakhouse. A Contemporary Restaurant in Brentwood With Classic Genes, Baltaire Is Where to Enjoy Brunch...