There is a tremendous need for all kinds of people in the medical field, from home health aides to nurse assistants to phlebotomists. Unfortunately, there are far more job openings in those fields than people to fill them.
Zeal Institute, the only post-secondary school in North Fort Myers, is doing what it can to train students to fill those positions and bring in companies and medical providers to recruit them.
Last week, the school hosted one of the numerous job fairs it holds throughout the year, where companies came to recruit students to fill vital positions and where Zeal Institute could recruit potential students who would like to make the medical field a career.
Bernadette Graham, director of operations at Zeal, said the idea is to not only find its students jobs, but also personal training in areas such as resume building and interview skills, but also career talks to be sure prospective students want to get into the field.
“We try to do this every three months or so. So, when our students graduate, they know who to reach out to,” Graham said. “We want to do this for new students who may be interested in the medical field, but may want to talk to the agencies to see what’s a good field.”
Lee Health, United Way, Brightstar and other organizations came out for the event. Zeal has been able to supply the major health providers with workers they need. Instead of the students having to look for jobs, the jobs are coming to them, with companies getting a first peek at students.
Graham said with inflation, the agencies looking to hire are keeping up with the financial needs, with some starting at $18 an hour or more. After that, the sky is the limit.
“We have students who have gone on to become nurses and some even teach for us. For our students, right now it’s about at least making connections,” Graham said.
Enrique Albertorio, business developer for Trustcare Nurse Registry, said there is a shortage of caregivers in Lee and Collier counties and this could get students’ foot in the door.
“We want to let people know they can come work for us and provide this opportunity to students to fill those gaps,” Albertorio said. “We’re looking for certified nurse assistants, home health aides, LPNs and RNs. They can work full time or part time.”
Sylvia Dorisme, CEO at Zeal, said her school is helping the medical field by training students for positions where there is the most need.
“Wherever we can help, we are working hard with Lee Health and the local partners. Our job is to train as many students as possible to get into the health care field,” Dorisme said. “We care about our students and we try to go above and beyond to do events like this. It’s costly and time consuming, but it will benefit or students in the long run.”
Dorisme said she would like to hold another job fair in October devoted to hospitals. She would like to bring in Lee Health, Lehigh Regional Medical Center, and Bayfront ShorePoint and HCA Fawcett hospitals in Charlotte County.
Zeal Technical Institute has programs such as phlebotomy, medical assistant, certified nurse assistant, mental health technician, home health aide and much more.
Zeal Technical Institute is at 4940 Bayline Drive. For more, go to www.zealtechnicalinstitute.com