Student programs leading to careers in health care

Student programs leading to careers in health care
Posted on 01/04/2022
Students in program

Plumas Health Education Spring Institute (PHESI) has launched in Plumas County, thanks to the efforts of Danielle Plocki, Healthcare Pathway Coordinator and Taletha Washburn, School Director, both of Plumas Charter School; Darren Beatty, COO and JoDee Read, CEO, both of Plumas District Hospital; and Lisa Kelly, Pathway Coordinator for the K-12 Strong Workforce Program.

The program, commencing in January and concluding in May, will be called “PHESI,” which stands for Plumas Health Education Spring Institute, and is modeled after the Health Education Summer Institute (HESI) designed to provide “college and career exposure” to students interested in careers in this priority sector.

“It is our hope to introduce students to the array of careers in health care and enhance the pipeline of local students needed to fill the many opportunities in our local medical community as well as to support the Nursing Program at Feather River College” said Kelly, who introduced the program to address the labor shortages at local hospitals.

The PHESI program is available to students 16 and older.  Danielle Plocki, lead instructor, is a nurse and a CTE credentialed teacher at Plumas Charter school.  She will be teaching a seminar consisting of 18 hours of classroom instruction.  Students will then engage in nine half-day hospital rotations, with PDH department heads serving as “preceptors.” Rotations include: Cardiopulmonary, Imaging, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Emergency, Clinics/Primary Care, Laboratory Services, Information Technology, Nutrition Services, and Surgery, among others. Students will be exposed to job duties, specialized equipment, roles and responsibilities, and how each department fits into the overall goal of providing optimal patient care.

“I am pleased to support programs that get our youth involved in healthcare as a career.  This program is a recruitment tool for the hospital and an educational opportunity for students that truly makes a difference,”  said JoDee Read, who also serves on the school board.

The Spring 2022 program is open to students in all Plumas County schools, however, this session will operate as a pilot, so enrollment is capped to allow for extensive evaluation and revision. “Going forward, we plan to explore the possibility of offering this as a dual-enrolled course with Feather River College or potentially as part of a work study program across the entire County and in collaboration with area Hospitals,” according to Darlene Oertle, Allied Health Director at Feather River College.”

For this pilot year, thanks to the generosity of the Health Workforce Initiative program, all supplies needed for this program have been provided, including hospital scrubs, notebooks, binders, badges, stethoscopes and oximeters as well as curriculum and reference materials. For more information please contact: 

Danielle Wagner Plocki, BSN, RN, School Nurse

CTE Patient Care Pathway Coordinator, Plumas Charter School

[email protected]

530-283-3851 X118


Lisa Kelly, PhD

Strong Workforce K-12 Pathway Coordinator

[email protected]

By Lisa Kaufman Kelly, PHD

In the photo: Students Cate Baker, Rylee Cooper and Marlin Zittrer are shown with Danielle Wagner Plocki, who is a registered nurse and the CTE Patient Care Pathway Coordinator. Photo submitted