When Shantell Polk found herself out of work due to the pandemic, she didn’t know where to turn. Shantell is a healthcare professional who is raising six children on her own. She found in JVS SoCal’s CareerWork$ Medical program a way up the ladder within her industry.
After graduating from Compton High School, Shantell became a certified nursing assistant (CNA). To her, this was the first step to fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a nurse. She worked and gained experience as a caretaker, which she enjoyed, but then the pandemic hit and she found herself unemployed.
In 2021, She decided to visit her local America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) in Palmdale. It was there that she learned about CareerWork$ Medical, one of JVS SoCal’s eight-week programs that prepares participants for administrative roles in hospitals and clinics at no cost to participants.
It was the right opportunity at the right time. “I had seen what the program had to offer and thought it could help me boost my career,” says Shantell.
Once enrolled, Shantell received much-needed support and direction through a close-knit group of students and program managers. Twice a week via Zoom lessons she learned about the job interview process and about the non-clinical side of the healthcare industry.
“The program helped me to develop professional skills that would be useful in the field,” she says. “I learned how to carry myself, be empathetic—and really refined my patient-
directed skills more in-depth.” Shantell also found her teacher to be hugely supportive and helpful. “The program manager reached out to me even after I was settled in a new job,” she shares.
JVS SoCal’s Women’s Leadership Network helped to procure scrubs for Shantell to wear in her new roles.
Working at Children’s Hospital provided a hands-on opportunity for Shantell to develop new administrative skills. She wanted to move forward in healthcare, incorporating both the clinical and administrative components in her work, so she decided to upskill again.
Today, she works full-time at St. Francis Medical Center in order to accommodate going to school to become a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). Working as an LVN will allow her to do both administrative and patient care work. She is excited to complete the program in March of 2024.
Shantell says that CareerWork$ Medical is a great program that played a pivotal role in getting her to where she is today—in a career she loves. “I love patient care,” she says. “It makes my day when I can make someone more comfortable and smile. A lot of people don’t have family so I treat them as I would want someone in my family to be treated, she says. “That’s the best for me.”
Are you interested in helping others like Shantell to connect with careers they love? Learn more here.