Home Uncategorized SEARCH internships with disabilities help close staffing gaps in Lincolnshire’s elderly community

SEARCH internships with disabilities help close staffing gaps in Lincolnshire’s elderly community


Lincolnshire, Illinois (CBS) – Pandemic burnout – we have heard that it is happening in several areas, and one sector that is really harmful – is health.

Against the background of retirement and retirement, finding medical staff these days can be challenging. But Lauren Victory of CBS 2 visited a suburban community of seniors who may have found a solution.

In Lincolnshire, residents of Redford Green Health and Rehabilitation require round-the-clock care with the nurses who call them.

Unfortunately, as in many medical facilities, Redford Green is short of staff by about 20-25 percent. Nursing Director Kim Akainya tells CBS 2 that her team of nurses is certainly still doing their job, but overtime and extra responsibilities to fill those gaps have left her staff devastated.

“We had to think of something out of the ordinary,” Akainya said.

This thinking led to the addition of two interns on a special educational program called Project SEARCHcooperation with Lake County Special Education District (SEDOL), Clearbrookand with the Department of Social Services – Rehabilitation Division (DRS).

Yindini Flores is one of the interns. She is, in fact, a modern candy – a volunteer in a hospital that takes on tasks that do not require clinical experience.

“I put their underwear aside. I give them water and drinks, ”said Flores, who demonstrated to our cameras some of the gentle care she provides to residents, including cleaning their hair and moisturizing their hands.

Her internship as a health assistant marks a new chapter for Project SEARCH in Redford Green and the larger community of seniors of which she is a part, entitled Sagebrook.

“We have never used [Project SEARCH interns] as part of the clinical team, ”Akainya said.

More traditionally Project SEARCH interns, such as Marco Osorio and Andrew Glass, work in catering and other fields.

“We also have the positions of a cleaner – there is a laundry. There are also several office positions, a medical technician, an accountant, an assistant in the physiotherapy office to plan receptions and draw up documents,” said Annette Doherty, who oversees the project. SEARCH in Sedgebrook and Redford Green.

All nine current interns with cognitive impairments or developmental disabilities attend classes every day to gain skills in employment, financial literacy and more. The goal is work.

Flores is already waiting for a paid position.

“She has a great character. She is easy to teach,” said Acaina of Flores.

Flores ’gentle touch reduces the strain on both patients and staff.

“They appreciate it when I help them,” she said.

Her favorite part of the job?

“I enjoy working with residents,” Flores said.

The SEARCH project is not unique to Sedgebrook. In fact, you’ll find interns, such as Flores, Osorio and Galas, in more than 600 locations nationwide and abroad.

Akainya, director of nursing, hopes to expand the number of health care assistant internships next school year.

Each intern is required to pay for tuition, but is usually funded by his or her home school district.

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