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May 30, 2024

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High School Students Explore Healthcare Careers

Students perform patient transfers, transport specimens, provide basic patient care under supervision and more.

Ascension Saint Thomas recently recognized the inaugural class of Work-Based Learning, a new year-long program designed to prepare students from Metro Nashville Public Schools and Rutherford County Schools for diverse careers in healthcare.  

20 high school seniors from Cane Ridge High School, John Overton High School, Maplewood High School, Pearl-Cohn High School, and Smyrna High School successfully completed the fall semester of the program, which ran from August to December 2022, and are poised to begin their spring semester this week. Participating students earn class credit and are paid hourly as they work a minimum of 10 hours per week at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown or West campuses in Nashville, Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford in Murfreesboro, or one of the Ascension Medical Group Saint Thomas sites of care around Middle Tennessee.

About the Work-Based Learning program

Students perform patient transfers, transport specimens and equipment, provide basic patient care under supervision, shadow various departments, receive career coaching, and much more. Upon program completion, cohort members are encouraged to continue their healthcare careers by pursuing higher education opportunities or by applying for open positions at Ascension Saint Thomas facilities. 

“Ascension Saint Thomas is helping our students learn important job skills while they earn academic credit and a steady income – all of which are incredibly important building blocks of a successful life after high school,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle, director, Metro Nashville Public Schools. “We greatly appreciate the opportunities Ascension Saint Thomas is providing our students through this innovative partnership.” 

“Work-based learning partnerships are critical for our students to continue growing and exploring community-based work opportunities,” said Dr. Jimmy Sullivan, director, Rutherford County Schools. “Having our students work with Ascension Saint Thomas to gain experience and direction in the medical field before graduation is an excellent opportunity for them and for us.”

“It has been a joy to see these hard-working teenagers step into fast-paced workplaces and make meaningful contributions to our interdisciplinary teams,” said Jill Guinness, nursing intern manager, Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown. “We are excited to help the young learners navigate their first healthcare roles and build strong foundations for their future success.”

Ascension Saint Thomas, Metro Nashville Public Schools and Rutherford County Schools recognize the following students as members of the inaugural cohort of the Ascension Saint Thomas Work-Based Learning Program:

  • Jounir Awadalla
  • Lashonty Beal
  • Mariposa Cardenas
  • Sara Elkommos-Zakhary
  • A’saih Fuqua
  • Scarlett Galvan
  • Aeh Htoo
  • Kennedy Hunter
  • LaShay Johnson
  • Elyissa Leavens
  • Joya Lewis
  • Kobi Mathews
  • Trinity Mills
  • Jerkeila Moore
  • Mu Muang
  • Kira Norton
  • Aaleigha Reeves
  • Skylar Reid
  • A’Yana Thompson
  • Ariel Woods



About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.