Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) encourages students to pursue career paths in healthcare and manages several programmes to provide young Bermudians with exposure to occupations in medical fields.
Debbie Byrd, manager of Workforce Planning and Development, says BHB works diligently to encourage students in our community to choose healthcare occupations.
“Our programmes begin when we invite primary school children on tours of the hospital,” Ms Byrd said.
“This is followed up by staff members who visit private and public secondary schools to present healthcare-related lectures and discuss available career options at both King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI).
“BHB enrolls hundreds if young people in its after-school and summer student volunteer programmes, geared for 14 to 18-year-olds.
“We also offer internships and job shadow placements to college students who have an interest in occupations at the hospital.
“Finally, BHB awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in healthcare and will assist with career guidance upon request.”
Shanay Scott-Muhammad and Shari Scott are sisters who worked their way up from hospital volunteers to scholarship students and interns.
Shanay is currently employed as a physiotherapist (PT) at KEMH and Shari works as an Occupational Therapist (OT) at the MWI.
Shanay, who attended Warwick Academy, volunteered throughout the hospital as a teenager, answering phones, running errands and shadowing staff members who worked in her area of interest.
In 2002, she applied for a BHB scholarship, and in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline, was awarded more than $25,000 during a two-year period to pursue a degree in healthcare.
On her scholarship application, Shanay expressed a passion for the field of physiotherapy and made a commitment to return to the island and serve her community by working at the hospital.
After completing her studies at the American International College, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree, Shanay went on to earn her Masters’ degree from the University of Hartford.
She then returned to Bermuda and accepted employment as a physiotherapist at the hospital this year.
Shanay says she chose physiotherapy because she has always wanted to give back to her people and make a difference in healthcare for the Bermudian community.
“The scope of opportunities and clinical practice areas that are available is so broad, a person can continually learn and develop in a professional and personal capacity,” she said.
Her sister, Shari, studied occupational therapy because she liked the idea of working with people to achieve a level of independence and fulfillment in life after a physical or mental ailment.
Shari said: “Variety and seeing patients achieve progress make working at MWI as an OT a worthwhile experience.”
Ms Byrd said the hospital runs robust student outreach programmes to fill the projected employment needs of the organization.
“We are constantly assessing staffing needs, especially to prepare ourselves for the new hospital, which is scheduled to open in 2014,” she said.
“We design our student programmes to attract young people to areas of care that will require additional hiring.
“At the moment, our projected needs include staff trained in nursing, diagnostic imaging, finance and medical technology.
“With over 300 occupations at the hospital, there really is something for everyone — whatever your passion, we have a place for you.
“And with over 150 students enrolled in our programmes, we are hopeful more and more Bermudians will choose career paths in healthcare.”
If you are interested in serving your community and are determined to achieve professional excellence, consider a rewarding career in healthcare at Bermuda Hospitals Board. Contact 239-2134 for more information.