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Partners HealthCare offers Career and Workforce Development program

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Partners HealthCare offers Career and Workforce Development program
Adelina Peña (Photo: Photo: M. Deleen)

Adelina Peña is a full-time anesthesia technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a nursing student at Lawrence Memorial/Regis College in Medford, and the mother of Amelia, who is three years old. In 2013, Adelina was working as a cashier at Whole Foods Market to support her newborn daughter. Interested in the health care field and striving to look for a job opportunity that could expand into a long-term career opportunity, Adelina set out to explore what type of health care jobs were available.

While attending a job fair at the Boston Public Library in Back Bay, Adelina learned about the Partners in Career and Workforce Development (PCWD) program offered by Partners HealthCare. PCWD is a free, full-time, eight-week training program designed to help local residents prepare for, obtain, and succeed in entry-level employment within one of Partners hospitals. The training program includes four weeks of classroom instruction and a four-week internship in a clerical or support staff position. Graduates have been placed in such positions as office assistant, unit coordinator, patient service coordinator, practice secretary, laboratory aide, medical records clerk, and operating room assistant.

Adelina applied to participate in the program and went through the rigorous, multi-part screening and testing process that is required for all PCWD candidates. She was invited to the final interview phase and was accepted into the July 2013 PCWD session.

After spending her internship working as an anesthesia technician in the Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine department at BWH, Adelina was hired into a full-time position in August — soon after her internship was completed. For Adelina, this was the first step in a long journey of personal and professional growth.

“The PCWD program jumpstarted everything for me and enabled me to go to the next level,” said Adelina. “It opened up job opportunities and networking relationships I had never thought would be available to me. In addition, I have received incredible coaching from both Dena Lerra, incumbent program manager in the Workforce Development department at Partners, and Amy Zydanowicz, BWH career coach. Dena taught me how to manage my time working in an extremely fast-paced environment, and Amy helped me brainstorm the types of career paths I might want to explore.”

“The PCWD program is designed to meet the professional business needs of Partners hospitals,” said Lerra. “It includes invaluable training not only in the areas of resume writing, interviewing skills, and medical terminology, but it also focuses on soft skills such as communication, problem solving, customer service, attitude, appearance and professional dress.”

Working as an anesthesia technician has exposed Adelina to many career growth opportunities. She decided that nursing is her passion, so she enrolled in the Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing Program. She will complete her associate’s degree in nursing in May 2017. From there, she plans to enroll in the bachelor’s degree nursing program, and she aspires to become a nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Adelina’s proudest accomplish-

ment is getting accepted into nursing school and surviving the first year, especially with the intense clinical work. “It was extremely difficult to balance school, work and being a mom, but I’m still hanging in there,” said Adelina. “I am very grateful to have an incredibly supportive manager and supervisor who have been very accommodating with my work schedule, especially around exam times. In addition, I never could have done this without the support of my mother who helps me by taking care of my daughter.”

Adelina’s ultimate career goal is to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). To achieve that goal, she will have to work as a nurse in a hospital intensive care unit for two years, and then she may apply to the CRNA program at Northeastern University. The full-time CRNA program runs for 32 months.

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