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IN 2014, the Queens Hospital Center and Townsend Harris High School created a program that allows students to be partnered with healthcare professionals to gain experience and knowledge in the field of medicine.
Students who are 16 and older are able to volunteer at the hospital during the summer or school year. There are many departments that the students can work at, including physical therapy, psychiatry, ambulatory care, and much more.
Then freshman, now senior Vinod Raghunath, first brought forth the idea of establishing the connection between the two facilities.
He stated, “I volunteered at the hospital when I just entered eighth grade, and from then on, I built up my reputation there and met a lot of new people. After hearing my proposal to have students from Townsend volunteer with them at Queens Hospital, they were ecstatic.”
Since then, students have been going to the hospital to volunteer. THHS has become a common name at the place, and lots of students of all ages volunteer there. Some students even got to work there over the summer as youth interns with a salary.
Volunteers and interns do a wide range of tasks ranging from clerical work to field work. It’s a great experience for anyone who wants to go into the medical field, especially because there are so many areas to work in the medical field such as the financial and administration aspects of it.
Other than volunteering, the program also allows opportunities such as research. Students who are currently taking sophomore, junior, and senior science research and social science research classes will be able to conduct more research within the hospital and visit the Queens Hospital Center Medical Library.
The school will invite employees from the hospital as guest speakers for Career Day, and sex education lessons and demonstrations will be provided by THHS staff along with hospital professionals.
Senior Devjani Paul volunteers at the pediatrics clinic. She stated, “I love the program the hospital has with the school because it gave me an opportunity to volunteer which I wouldn’t have gotten if there wasn’t a program. Volunteering was one of the best experiences I had because it showed that I am able to work well with kids, and it gave me a lot of memories that I will not forget.”
Coordinator of Student Activities and Biology teacher Sarah Oberlander also praised the program, stating, “I think this program is a great opportunity for students to gain hands-on skills and experience in the medical and research field.”
The school usually holds Queens Hospital volunteer interest meetings after school at the end of the fall and spring semesters, announced through email.