Learning and Teaching Across Generations at North Country Hospital
Many of the students who took part in a Microsoft Office training at North Country Hospital in Newport in recent weeks have advanced degrees, and are seasoned members of the healthcare world. On the other hand, the mentors of the course were students from Lake Region Union High School, many of them members of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
The high school students used their technological savvy to help teach healthcare professionals in Microsoft Office 2010, the latest version of the program.
“They were excellent students,” Brittany Downs said. “They weren’t afraid to ask questions.” She and the other high school students involved also spoke about what they learned in helping their adult students learn valuable new skills.
Brittany, who served as the Data Base Administrator for the course, said the collaboration helped her build confidence to utilize the skills she has learned in class to educate others.
The collaborative relationship came out of a need for the high school students to raise money to attend the Future Business Leaders of America 2013 National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California, June 22-July 1. Sierra Cortez, a member of FBLA whose mother works at the hospital, and Betsy Calhoun, the high school’s Business Department Chairperson, and FBLA Advisor, along with FBLA member, Sydney Whipple, met with Claudio Fort, President and CEO of the hospital. Instead of the NCH simply giving the group a donation, the four of them hatched a plan to form a collaborative working relationship in which everybody won.
The high school students involved were Sierra Cortez, Brittany Downs, Gabrielle Granai, Brittany Menken, Keisha Paddleford, Chelsea Rowell, and Sydney Whipple.
The extremely challenging course lasted eight weeks. Participants worked at their own pace from a book, and with hands-on experience. The young mentors regularly traveled from the high school to the hospital to work with their students and answer any questions which had arisen since they’d last met.
“The opportunity to collaborate with the Lake Region FBLA group on this training was extremely timely,” Kate Pierce, Director of Clinical Informatics for North Country Hospital, said. “The hospital had just upgraded our Microsoft Office Suite from 2003 to 2010, which was a significant change for our staff. The FBLA group approached the hospital with a proposal to help some of our staff receive Microsoft Office training, and even become Microsoft certified experts. We identified staff in key areas that were either heavy users of the MS Office tools or were in a position to provide training and support throughout the facility.
Overall, this was a win-win for everyone involved. The students were able to raise funds for their upcoming FBLA trip, the hospital is now equipped with staff members trained and certified in the various Microsoft Office tools, and are able to assist others throughout the facility with questions and provide training, as needed,” concluded Kate, who worked with Betsy to develop and manage the project.
“This authentic Microsoft Office 2010 training collaboration helped my students to recognize the very real connections between high school opportunities and becoming college & career ready,” Betsy said. “Being able to successfully provide a supportive personal learning environment for the professional staff members who participated has greatly increased their own confidence and motivation to learn. We plan to seek out additional business partners who are interested in
Sierra Cortez, Betsy Calhoun, Debbie Gring, Penny Wheeler, Keisha Paddleford, Brittany Downs, and Sydney Whipple participated in an unusual Microsoft Office training project at the hospital. This time the students were the teachers.