Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) has launched a clinical extern program in which local healthcare students provide direct care to patients under mentorship and supervision of registered staff.
Clinical extern opportunities are available at CCH for students of nursing, occupational therapy, paramedic training, physiotherapy, and respiratory therapy. Clinical externs receive training as unregulated healthcare providers and work closely with mentors and other members of the healthcare team to provide safe and high-quality care within their scope of practice.
While CCH offers student internships and residency programs, the clinical extern program provides an opportunity for healthcare students to work at the hospital outside of their school’s graduation requirements.
As CCH prioritizes Recovery and People as part of its 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, the clinical extern program will help the nursing staff by offering an extra set of hands while providing students with valuable experience and preparation for full-time employment at CCH once they graduate.
The hospital has welcomed its first batch of externs this month and anticipates a larger cohort will be starting later this spring as the school year comes to an end. Currently externs are working in Acute Medicine but will also be working elsewhere throughout the hospital as the program expands and more externs are hired.
The program is in place at CCH until at least March 2024 thanks to support being provided by the provincial government.
“The clinical extern program will increase the pipeline of available and experienced graduates who may transition to full-time employment at Cornwall Hospital,” explains Linda Gravel, Vice President of Patient Services & Chief Nursing Officer at Cornwall Hospital. “Although our clinical externs are not able to perform all of the duties of a fully trained and regulated staff member, they will help provide some much-needed support to our staff and physicians and improve the quality of care for our patients by playing supporting roles. We are excited to welcome them to the team.”
Juan D’Souza is a third year Bachelor of Nursing Student at St. Lawrence College who started as a Clinical Extern at CCH in March.
“The team is absolutely amazing and really welcoming. They always put patient-focused care in everything that they do and work hard to ensure the floor runs smoothly. Working alongside amazing staff and mentors, has inspired me and provided me with every possible learning opportunity that I would need in my journey to become a Registered Nurse,” said Juan.
Clinical extern and other career opportunities at CCH can be found on the hospital’s website at www.cornwallhospital.ca.