Randelle Thompson has many of the qualities Tidelands Health looks for when hiring new team members.
She’s smart, loves to help people and has a passion for the health care field.
But Tidelands Health won’t be suiting her up in scrubs quite yet. The recent high school grad still has a ways to go before she’s ready to launch her nursing career. But the health system is helping invest in that future with the hope that Randelle will eventually join the Tidelands Health team and help meet the growing demand for health care in our region.
“We have really started ‘growing our own,’” says Busy Kimball, talent acquisition manager for Tidelands Health. “We want to support people at a young age. We can help guide them and let them know about all the opportunities available in the health care field and, specifically, at Tidelands Health.”
Tidelands Health, which has more than 2,000 employee and provider partners, is not only hiring to meet today’s needs but is also planning for long-term needs as the region’s population growth shows no signs of letting up. More residents in coming years means more demand for health care services.
To help meet that growing demand, Tidelands Health recruiters have started reaching out in new ways to promising students with an interest in the field to prepare them to be the next generation of health care providers.
“We hope they fall in love with working for Tidelands Health like so many of us do,” Busy says.
The health care system is targeting students in a variety of ways, including specialized career fairs, online networks for students interested in health care and programs that give students a glimpse at what it’s like working in a hospital.
In October, Tidelands Health is sponsoring Pathways to Possibilities, a two-day interactive career expo at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center designed to help eighth graders link their passions to a paycheck, specifically in health sciences.
And earlier this year, Tidelands Health participated in the first career fair focused on health care for Horry County Schools’ health-science students. About 475 students attended.
Tidelands Health is also investing in the most promising students through scholarships. Recruiters partnered with STEM Premier – a sort of LinkedIn professional online network but for students interested in science, technology, engineering or math – to give a total of $4,100 in scholarships to five students, including Randelle.
“STEM Premier seemed like a great way to start growing our own,” Busy says. “We are trying to get out there a little bit more and introduce ourselves.”
Tidelands Health also is giving students a glimpse at what it’s like working in a hospital through the Nurses are Extraordinary program. In the past two years, nearly 50 students aspiring to work in health care have spent a day learning about the requirements and getting experience with basic skills such as using a defibrillator.
But it’s not just about lining up the next generation of health care providers. Recruiters also are spreading the word about other career opportunities at Tidelands Health that are crucial to the system, including human resources, network systems, records keeping and more.
“You don’t have to like biology or blood,” Busy says. “There are plenty of other opportunities out there.”
Randelle, who graduated from Myrtle Beach High School in the spring, already knows she wants to be a nurse. She has the instincts – always pitching in to help take care of her four brothers and four sisters when they get sick. She enjoys checking their temperature and making sure they have soup.
The driven 18-year-old already has taken advantage of the programs Tidelands Health offers to students, participating in the first Nurses are Extraordinary session last year and earning one of the scholarships through STEM Premier this year.
Randelle starts classes this month at Horry-Georgetown Technical College with the goal of earning an associate’s degree in nursing.
“I want to be like those nurses – always helping people,” she says.