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High school junior learns the daily operations of an ER

Abigail Cundiff, a junior at Tuscarora High School and aspiring nurse, spent the day shadowing Registered Nurse Kitty Sharp and assisting patients during the Job for a Day program at the Cornwall Campus of Inova Loudoun Hospital on April 9. Times-Mirror Photos/Jonathan Taylor
Every spring, hundreds of juniors at Loudoun County High Schools test the “real world” at businesses across the county.

Juniors go to businesses that they're interested in pursuing as a possible career for a day and learn the ins-and-outs of daily operations.

The School-Business Partnership Job For a Day program was developed to provide students with the skills necessary to prepare them to contribute successfully to the ever-changing business and community environments.

“Job for a Day is a wonderful program that gives students a rare opportunity to shadow a variety of healthcare professionals for a day. We are thrilled to be able to host and help shape our future medical leaders," Stacey Miller, growth officer at Inova Loudoun Hospital said.

Inova Loudoun has been a participant in the program for the last 10 years at both its Lansdowne and Cornwall Campus locations.

This year, Inova will hosts more than 45 kids over the course of two days. The first was April 9. The second day will be April 23.

On April 9, students from nine Loudoun County High Schools visited Inova for the day.

Tuscarora junior Abigail Cundiff was one of those students. Her visit to the Cornwall Campus entailed shadowing Kitty Sharp, a registered nurse in the Emergency Department.

Cundiff learned about the program through her adviser and guidance counselor.

The opportunity allowed Cundiff the chance to ask questions and see how the emergency department works.

Cundiff wants to be a pediatric nurse when she gets out of school. She thoroughly enjoys working with children and has been a junior coach with her summer swim team for the last couple of years.

Her mother and two cousins are also a Intensive Care Unit nurse, which piqued her interest in the profession.

“It has been a little quiet. I expected more trauma patients, but we have really only had several patients with chest pain,” Cundiff said. “We did have one pediatric patient so that was good.”

Cundiff was able to get an idea of where she wanted to be in the career field.

“Abigail is in a shadowing mode today. I would love for her to have her hold this, do that, but it wasn't in the guidelines for observing today,” Sharp said. “What she has done is come in to see patients with me, asks permission to be in the room to watch me triage, get vital signs, get medical history and she comes in when I medicate and assess anything.”


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