Life at HCA Healthcare – Two Interns Tell All!

Three women and a man posing for a photo during event reception
Cassandra Lockridge and a few fellow interns at an All Hands meeting

The HCA Healthcare corporate office in Nashville welcomed a combined 48 interns from our Community Partnership and Information Technology Pathways internship program this summer. The eight and 12-week experience, respectively, provided the interns an opportunity to network, grow personally and professionally and gain real-world, life skills for the future.

This year, an intern in each program was selected to share their account of where they’ve been, where they’re going and what it’s like to work at HCA Healthcare.

Take a moment to read their story, and wish them well this upcoming school year!

Cassandra Lockridge, HCA Healthcare Community Partner Intern

How couWoman wearing black and pink dress. Headshot of Cassaundra Lockridge.ld I, Cassandra Lockridge, a political science major at Hanover College, find my place in the healthcare industry? I thought this to myself when I applied to the HCA Healthcare Community Partner Internship in 2014. At the time, I did not know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to work, but with the guidance of my community partner, KIPP Nashville, a charter school in Greater Nashville, and other mentors, I found a place in HCA Healthcare that I will cherish and appreciate forever.

Thanks to KIPP’s alumni program, KIPP through College, I’ve spent the past three summers at HCA Healthcare.  And every summer, my internship experience has been a bit different, a little more challenging, and very rewarding. Take a peek into my story.

As a rising sophomore at Hanover, I was shy and still trying to find my place in the corporate world, while juggling what I wanted to do after graduation. The next summer, as a junior, I slowly became comfortable with my department and fellow interns, attending the HCA Healthcare Toastmasters program for interns and other internal professional development programming. With every encounter I made, whether it was an intern, full-time employee, security guard or custodial staff, I learned. And the more I got to know the corporate culture of HCA Healthcare, the more I enjoyed coming back.

In my final summer at HCA Healthcare, I was placed in Corporate Affairs. The responsibilities I have been given – social media and researching programs for future HCA Healthcare mentoring opportunities – have allowed me to gain more skills in communications, marketing, and leadership. I never realized how much Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media outlets has an impact on, well, everything! From patients to consumers to the media and the general public, they’re engaging on social media…and so are we.

I attended an All Hands department meeting, at the zoo (yes, the Nashville Zoo) and saw how this department, including Community Relations, Cultural Inclusion and Diversity, Content Strategy, Media Relations, Digital Marketing, impact HCA Healthcare on a higher level. There, I also met Dr. Tommy Frist, Jr., an original founder at HCA Healthcare, whose leadership and humility made a huge impact on me and my internship experience.

On another occasion, I had the opportunity to present on the book, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes of a Leader’s Day, by John. C. Maxwell, to employees in my department. This assignment helped me see how topics should be conveyed to groups of people in the workplace.

Each task, project, and assignment not only challenged me to do my best, but also gave me insights into what the Corporate Affairs department values – people.

Now, I have an exciting plan for my future, thanks to the HCA Healthcare employees who shared their knowledge, the dedication of my mentor as a Community Partner Intern, and the trust that Corporate Affairs placed in me to complete multiple projects. I will graduate in May 2017 and will either apply to a master’s program in Social Policy, Community Development or go to Law school. My plans might change slightly, but I am okay with that. I’ll take the change as a growing experience.

In 2014, I walked into the HCA Healthcare Community Partner Internship Program as a shier version of myself. Today, I leave confidently and thankful for the doors that have been opened and the wisdom gained from employees at HCA Healthcare. Thanks for putting your trust in a millennial like me.

The HCA Healthcare Community Partners Internship Program highlights the relationships between HCA Healthcare and various community organizations around Nashville.  Students are referred from partnering community organizations for roughly 30 internship slots each summer. The program, which serves as a talent pipeline for the organization, identifies students with an interest in business, healthcare, or information technology.

David Thomas, HCA Healthcare IT Pathways Intern

Man wearing suit and tie. Headshot of David Thomas.After dislocating my shoulder six times, two shoulder surgeries, and countless months of physical therapy, I knew I wanted to be in healthcare. I am convinced that the healthcare industry is the most tangible place to help others. The doctor, who performed my two surgeries, asked if I wanted to observe one of his surgeries and I thought to myself, “This is my chance to experience healthcare!” Less than 15 minutes into the surgery, everything went black. As I came back to consciousness, I noticed there were more doctors attending to me than the patient on the operating table. At that moment I discovered that cutting people open in order to fix them was not what I was created to do. But I didn’t let go of this dream to be a part of healthcare.

I’m David Thomas, and through my internship at HCA Healthcare, I have learned that healthcare is more than being a physician or a nurse. You can make an impact in healthcare through Information Technology (IT), too. The men and women in HCA Healthcare’s Information Technology and Services (IT&S) division help program medical systems and applications, protect medical records, resolve issues that physicians or nurses have with their computers, and track technology projects as they progress, just to name a few of their responsibilities.

The employees of HCA Healthcare helped me grow professionally as well as educated me on different careers within healthcare. This summer, as an IT Pathways intern, I have been working in project management under the acquisitions and new constructions division. Our division’s objective is to organize the integration of core IT&S systems and applications into both HCA Healthcare newly built and acquired hospitals.

As a senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, graduation is nearing fast. Information Technology wasn’t on the radar three months ago, but now I plan to pursue a career in Healthcare IT, thanks to this experience. Through HCA Healthcare’s IT&S pathways internship, I was exposed to the healthcare industry, I discovered a passion for IT, and I learned that there is no greater feeling than knowing you contributed to helping others. And as the employees of HCA Healthcare IT&S say – I am healthcare inspired!

Group of people sitting around table with food

Enjoying a meal (and a selfie) with other IT Pathways interns

HCA Healthcare IT Pathways is a talent pipeline program to recruit outstanding talent for associate positions within our Information Technology & Services (IT&S) department. We identify need within the IT organization and work with colleges and universities to find that talent. Each summer we look for upperclassman or graduate students with top-notch academics for the 12 week internship in the Middle Tennessee area. Visit here for more information.  

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 182 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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