Denver, Colo.,
08:26 AM

Saint Joseph Hospital uses creativity and innovation to address workforce needs

Sterile Processing

To drive applicants to harder-to-fill positions, Saint Joseph Hospital used a creative and innovative idea through a partnership with the Colorado Health Careers Collaborative and Arapahoe Community College (ACC).

In June, 1,200 students enrolled at ACC participated in a seven-week program that gave them a firsthand look at what it’s like to work at Saint Joe’s by taking part in virtual job shadowing.

The Colorado Health Careers Collaborative partnered with various hospitals throughout the Denver metro area and each hospital selected different specialties based on their needs. Saint Joe’s chose Respiratory Therapy and Sterile Processing since those departments are the hardest to fill.

During the seven-week program, students had access to various job shadow modules that described every step of the process in Respiratory Therapy and Sterile Processing. The videos provided them with a firsthand look into what the jobs would entail and what it means to be an Intermountain Health employee by showcasing our mission, vision and values. It also featured caregivers talking about why they love working at Saint Joe’s.

acc course capture

The collaborative is open to high school and college students aged 16-24, and it was created to provide a career pathway for students to get jobs in healthcare without needing a two- or four-year degree.

“Another part of this initiative is that we help anyone in the program get entry-level jobs at Saint Joe’s, beyond those in Respiratory Therapy and Sterile Processing,” said Amanda Feild, director of Nursing Professional Practice and Magnet Program at Saint Joseph Hospital. “We interviewed students for transporters, food services and more. It's designed to get people interested in the healthcare field and in healthcare jobs.”

The idea is to let students know that they can start out in an entry-level position and work their way up to be a nurse, for example. By offering on the job training and the opportunity to enter the healthcare field straight out of high school, Saint Joe’s was able to create a quick pipeline to fill staffing needs at the hospital.

At the end of the program, a hiring event was held, and 80 students were interviewed for various jobs and several of our open positions were filled by these candidates.