The Health Coach Program is a partnership between The College of Wooster and the Wooster Community Hospital called the Community Care Network where college students, under medical supervision, work with patients who need companionship and encouragement in developing healthier lifestyles.
To get started in the program students must apply, be accepted, and take a semester-long training course that consists of weekly lectures taught by a variety of health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, dieticians, and social workers. Students are also required to complete a CPR certification. The training class is worth 0.5 credits and focuses on developing diagnostic capacities and acquiring a strong background in the major diseases that are largely impacted by lifestyle choices.
After completing the training course, students are assigned their own patients. Health Coaches assist their patients with health goals and consult with their supervising nurse on a weekly basis. Drs. Amy Jolliff and Paul Nielson, Co-Medical directors of the Community Care Network, meet with Health Coaches regularly for updates on each of the patients in the program and provide insight on common issues that patients are dealing with. They offer advice and guidance to the student who then returns to their patients and implements the agreed-upon plan.
This is a demanding yet rewarding program that prepares students for the realities of a career in health care. Health Coaches are expected to spend one hour per week with each patient, prepare a SOAP note (subjective, objective, assessment, and plan), and attend weekly team meetings where they report on their patients to the supervising nurses and doctors.
College of Wooster graduates who have gone on to medical and other professional graduate schools have reported that the skills they acquired in the Health Coach Program have given them a great advantage, and many medical schools are actively seeking to admit students with this kind of hands-on experience inpatient care.
Information sessions and the training course are offered every semester. Contact Jamie Adler to learn how to apply.