Mercy Hospital Springfield's Medical Explorer Post #339 is an Exploring program jointly sponsored by Mercy Hospital Springfield and the Learning for Life’s career education program, a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America Ozarks Council. The overall purpose of Exploring is to provide worksite-based experiences for young men and women who are 15 through 20 to help them pursue their special interests, grow, and develop. This Post, like most, has a focus on a single career field, which is healthcare.
The Mercy program has two components: scheduled monthly business/informational meetings and clinical rotations. At the monthly meetings, information is provided by guest presenters on topics such scholarship opportunities and requirements, college preparation and planning, and options for financing collegiate education. In addition, professionals from a variety of healthcare disciplines provide information about the specific discipline and its role in healthcare today.
Clinical rotations provide Explorers a firsthand opportunity to interact with patients, observe clinical procedures, and develop skill in professional communication. Many Mercy Hospital Springfield departments serve as sites where healthcare professionals can be observed in their normal work routine and Explorers can interact with individuals in the roles of physician, nurse, pharmacist, respiratory therapist, paramedic, physical therapist, diagnostic imaging specialist, laboratory technologist, and others. Explorers may, but are not required to, participate in limited patient care duties at the discretion of the sponsoring co-worker, patient and student, and within the scope of service.
The Medical Explorers' monthly business meeting is held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month on the Mercy Hospital Springfield campus. Each month, health care professionals present information on the wide variety of careers offered in the medical field.
Each explorer will have clinical rotations scheduled over a 14 week period in areas of a chosen track or service line interest. During these rotations, participants observe various health occupations and professionals as they perform their jobs. Explorers are encouraged to ask the employees questions about their job responsibilities, likes, dislikes and educational requirements.
The explorer program is a youth-run organization with officers; group leaders and leadership volunteered by the explorers themselves. Medical Explorer Youth Executive Board meetings are held at 5:00 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of every month (just before the regular monthly meetings) in the Education and Organizational Department Conference Room on 4J of Mercy Hospital Springfield.
At the end of each 14-week session, explorers are awarded a certificate of completion based upon their attendance at both the monthly business meetings and the clinical rotations.
Medical Explorers Business Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. on the Mercy-Springfield campus. Hard copy only applications into the program are distributed at the business meetings held in January, May and September and are known as “First Night” meetings. The dates and times of the required program orientation meetings are announced at these “First Night” meetings.