White Coat Spring Break Program expands to college students.

 Andrew Hoover and Hannah Abdelmessih pose in their white coats. 

Andrew Hoover and Hannah Abdelmessih pose in their white coats. 

Spring Break is always a busy time of year for IHPC. While images of sun, surf, and crowded beaches may come to mind, 26 students set their sights on something higher - a chance to participate in the White Coat Spring Break program run by IHPC in partnership with the San Bernardino County Medical Society (SBCMS). We've worked with SBCMS for the past three years to offer select students a 30-40 hour job shadow and observational experience through the society's member clinics and hospitals.

Two students, Andrew Hoover (student ambassador and sophomore at Ruben Ayala High School) and Hannah Abdelmessih (junior at Ontario Christian High) were both assigned to EMS coordinator, Cathy Torrez at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Emergency Department. Both students are interested in surgery - Andrew wants to pursue Cardiovascular surgery while Hanna is more interested in general surgery. 

This year, the white coat program was opened to college students and we were able to place students from UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Moreno Valley College, the University of La Verne, and California State University - San Bernardino. Two of our college students, both working moms, shared their experience with us.

I have loved every single moment of the ER experience! I love the people that work there and have gotten many numbers and letters of recommendation! I got to go into many different areas of the ER and Trauma center and connected with several nurses who gave me a lot of advice. Now, after talking with so many physician’s assistants and nurses who are pursuing a nurse practitioners degree, I am considering getting my FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner).

The first day was really eventful and I witnessed so much! I got to see patients from all ages and situations... I recommend that anyone who is accepted to the White Coat Program ask each nurse, doctor, physician’s assistant, and nurse practitioner why they chose that field and the benefits and downsides.

I would highly recommend everyone to apply who is contemplating the medical field. The staff are willing to answer questions and support higher education. I have to say this was both an exciting and rewarding place to work.
— Monica Figueroa, SBVC student

Students selected for the program must commit one week of their Spring break to the White Coat program and go through an extensive selection process including an online application, letters of recommendation, and training on HIPAA and workplace professionalism. Thanks to the hard work of Alison Elsner and Debbie Long from SBCMS, we were able to place students at nine locations throughout the region: Arrowhead Regional Medical Center's Emergency Department and Outpatient Women's Center, Choice Medical Group in Victor Valley, San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, Victory Valley Global Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente in San Bernardino and Redlands, and Arrowhead Orthopedics in Rancho Cucamonga and Redlands. 

The White Coat experience at Arrowhead Orthopedics has been amazing. It’s been far more pleasant than I had expected. Ambre, the manager of the Pain Management Pod and her team of medical assistants have been kind, informative, and instructional. They have asked me whether I will apply there, and they also stated I fit in very well. If they do have any positions available I would love to hear about them, but in the mean time I will continue to promote my appreciation for this opportunity from Inland Health Professions Coalition. Thank you for all you have done on my behalf!
— Yvonne Delgado, CSUSB student

Our high school White Coats represented Redlands High, Yucaipa, Indian Springs, Ruben Ayala, Chino Hills, Upland, and Ontario Christian Charter School. 

This has been an amazing [experience] for me! The staff at the ED have been so nice and helpful to answer all our questions, as basic as they can be. I have had the opportunity to see an array of medical procedures and each day I am more eager to see something new. It is just so funny that everything I’ve been taught, I hear being used...when I hear it I think to myself, ‘hey wait’, I know why that is, what that does, or why you would do that. I cannot begin to thank you enough for choosing me for this experience and opportunity...I wanted to be a jail intake nurse but after being in the ED, THIS is where I belong. Now when I am up late studying, doing homework, or crying because I feel this is all too much, this experience is my motivation for why I am doing this for my daughters and has helped me re-focus and get a taste of exactly what I am working so hard for and sacrificing my time for.
— Stephanie Jefferson, SBVC student and business owner