Thrive by IU Health

April 16, 2024

High school senior finds “entrance to the [career] maze”

IU Health Arnett Hospital

High school senior finds “entrance to the [career] maze”

As the next generation of Indiana healthcare professionals begins to emerge, individuals like Huda, a senior at West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School, stand out as promising talents ready to tackle the challenges of the medical field. Whether volunteering at her local mosque, participating in fundraising clubs or indulging in her love for reading, she describes a schedule packed with extracurricular activities that allows little time for sleep. Huda, originally raised the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has envisioned herself in medicine since her middle school days.

Finding inspiration through anatomy

“I knew I wanted to be a doctor since seventh grade,” says Huda.

In her seventh-grade anatomy class, Huda says that she discovered her fascination with the intricacies of the human body. She explains that her competitive nature, compassionate spirit and ability to compartmentalize in stressful situations would make her a fitting candidate for a future profession as a doctor.

She has secured a spot at Purdue University for pursuing a pre-medical undergraduate degree. However, she already has some experience in the medical field thanks to her involvement in the Greater Lafayette Career Academy (GLCA).

GLCA, in collaboration with IU Health, provides high school students with hands-on experience in the medical field, going beyond mere job shadowing to offer real-world exposure.

“Since IU Health began offering clinical experience, we got hands-on experience,” says Huda. “We had the opportunity to be medical assistants.”

The academy supports multiple school corporations in Tippecanoe County and offers programs for high school students that lead to in-demand certifications for positions like certified nursing assistant (CNA), medical assistant (MA) and emergency medical technician (EMT).

Finding the entrance to the maze

Before becoming involved in her GLCA program, Huda states that she found extreme difficulty in figuring out her career path, further stressed by the prospect of having to pay for college and medical school.

“I felt so lost because I didn’t know where to start,” says Huda. “IU Health helped me find the entrance to the maze.”

Huda feels that this opportunity has been transformative. Working as a patient care assistant on the sixth floor of IU Health Arnett Hospital, she found her passion ignited and her career path illuminated. Last year, she became a Certified Medical Assistant, and she is working towards an Emergency Medical Technician certification this year.

“The fact that IU Health is willing to invest in us…is really motivating for me to pursue medicine and work for them in the future,” says Huda.

As Indiana faces projected shortages of healthcare workers, initiatives like the GLCA-IU Health partnership can help with nurturing and empowering the healthcare workforce of tomorrow.