INTEGRIS Blackwell Regional Hospital Recognized as CareerTech Champion
In 1949, Blackwell General Hospital opened the state's first 12-month training program for practical nurses which led to the licensing of Licensed Practical Nurses in the State of Oklahoma. The school continued through September 1971 graduating more than 400 practical nurses.
When Pioneer Technology Center began its first program, Practical Nursing in 1973, there was no campus or classroom space. INTEGRIS Blackwell Regional Hospital stepped in and provided classrooms along with on-the-job experience and training to PTC’s nursing students.
Since then, a dedicated partnership has developed between PTC and INTEGRIS Blackwell Regional Hospital. Students in PTC’s health programs benefit by gaining hands-on experience that equips them to enter jobs in the health field with knowledge, skills and experience. In turn, IBRH gains a known, trusted and readily available qualified staff.
"Pioneer Tech is a great partner in providing and training the workforce that we need to care for our patients,” said INTEGRIS Blackwell President Rex VanMeter. “We view the ability to provide the hands-on hospital experience for their students as a recruitment advantage for INTEGRIS Blackwell Regional Hospital. The opportunity to have students in our hospital interacting with our staff and experiencing our work environment provides a more qualified and a larger pool of applicants for us to choose from."
Chief Nursing Officer Dan Hall at INTEGRIS Blackwell Regional, credits much of the success of IBRH to the quality of staff they have hired from PTC.
“The partnership between IBRH and PTC has a positive impact on the surrounding community by producing and maintaining quality healthcare staff in rural Oklahoma,” Hall said. “Our partnership allows individuals to benefit from healthcare that is close to home.”
The mission of INTEGRIS, to ‘Improve the health of the people and communities we serve,’ would not be possible without the partnership with PTC,” Hall said.
That is why INTEGRIS Blackwell Regional Hospital hasbeen recognized as a CareerTech Business Champion, according to state CareerTech director Phil Berkenbile.
“CareerTech Business Champions are those businesses that attribute much of their success to the partnerships they have formed with the local technology center or high school CareerTech programs,” Berkenbile said. “Pioneer Technology Center is one of 29 technology center districts serving Oklahomans.”
Recently a new program between IBRH and PTC’s high school Healthcare Careers students has been added. Students job shadow in all clinical areas of the hospital, which is an opportunity to explore a variety of health career choices.
“INTEGRIS Blackwell is a 100-percent supporter of Pioneer Tech's PN program,” said Joella Francis, Pioneer Tech nursing coordinator. “This support is present at all levels of the hospital’s operations. We see it from the chief nursing officer, the nurse aides, lab techs – everyone. The hospital has a history of this type of support since the inception of the PN program.”
At the hospital, nursing students are allowed to perform the skills they master in the classroom under direct supervision of clinical instructors. Students also participate in health fairs and in-service education programs for the hospital.
Hall gets to know students, often maintaining contact with them after graduation. During daily rounds, he checks on staff, patients and nursing students, networking and looking for ways to improve the clinical experience.
The successful partnership provides important jobs and vital services to the rural community.
“This is a small community and we welcome the opportunity to have these students in our hospital,” said Janet Reser, IBRH nursing educator. “We want to provide an atmosphere that will bring the students to our hospital and keep them in the rural setting once they have graduated. By providing the students with a friendly and positive clinical rotation the hospital benefits when it's time to recruit.”
Hall also assists with the completion of requirements for certification and licensing.
“Together, we are providing quality care in unison. The hands-on learning through clinicals in our facility provides real-life experience for the students to begin forming expectations for their careers,” said Hall. “It also allows me to begin an informal evaluation process of each student’s work ethic, skill set and professionalism.”
“Pioneer Tech has a top notch program. The hospital owes much of its success to the care provided by these students,” Hall said. “I have hired many of the PTC nursing students and feel grateful that we have such a good working relationship with the school.”
Written by: Katie Gruntmeir
Publish Date: May 26, 2009