Mercy is offering an educational program that allows students – Mercy co-workers – to prepare for college and give them tools for advancement within the organization.
School at Work(SAW) is a career development program for entry-level workers in health care. SAW’s instructional model helps students refresh essential skills and gain an understanding of healthcare-specific subjects.
The six-month curriculum imparts communication skills, time and stress management, concentration tools and college prep.
“SAW students have the potential to advance to higher-level positions or higher learning but they need a refresher course to gain skills and confidence to take those steps,” said Sally Plowman, educational and organizational development specialist and SAW instructor at Mercy Hospital Washington. “SAW gives co-workers the tools and confidence to move forward.”
SAW also alleviates recruitment shortages and has the potential to allow Mercy to look inside its own facilities to fill openings.
“Mercy provides professional development because we want our co-workers to be successful, and this program invests in our people, which strengthens the ministry,” said Plowman. “It also gives co-workers new skills, which brings them better opportunities and creates stronger families and communities.”
Seven students graduated from the 2011 SAW program in November. Since then, two SAW graduates have been promoted into higher-level positions at the hospital and another is seeking higher education.
Union resident Christy Matchell, who works in nutritional services, is a SAW graduate seeking a full-time supervisory position. She has worked for the hospital for almost 15 years. “I’m glad I went through the SAW program because I was able to refresh skills and learn others,” said Matchell. “I feel more valuable as a co-worker and better prepared for advancement.”
Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 30 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.