Intro to Healthcare Students Help Introduce the New Parkland Hospital

Some Naveen Jindal School of Management students got a hands-on, front-door introduction to healthcare management when they served as volunteers at a recent open house for the new Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

BS Healthcare Student, Jessica Santos

JSOM student Jessica Santos stationed at one of the new Parkland’s Emergency Department exam rooms.

“Parkland was overwhelmed by the support from UT Dallas,” Dr. Britt Berrett, director of JSOM’s new BS in Healthcare Management degree program, said about student participation at the April 11 event. JSOM students accounted for about a fourth of the voluntary workforce.

Acting as guides and greeters, the volunteers ushered an estimated 5,000 guests through the new Dallas facility, which is set to open in mid-August. The 862-bed hospital will replace the aging Parkland Memorial Hospital, which was built in 1954.

Students staffed the front lobby, elevators, the emergency room, medical and surgical suites, and more. One assignment that amused all was a male student being posted to the labor and delivery room, Berrett said.

“The students are all in one of three sections of the Introduction to Healthcare class that (Dr.) Forney Fleming and I teach, so they are learning firsthand about hospital operations,” said Berrett, whose résumé includes many years of service as the past president at both Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and Medical City Dallas Hospital.

Berrett said feedback from the students — who earned extra credit in class for volunteering — consisted of such comments as:

“I got a chance to see what really happens behind the scenes at a hospital.”

“The staff at Parkland couldn’t have been nicer.”

“I was amazed at the diversity of visitors, from patients to contractors who built the hospital, to international medical experts.”

Berrett says his graduate-level students are experiencing even more intimate behind-the-scenes visits to local hospitals including Parkland, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospitals in Dallas and Allen, Medical City and Medical City Children’s Hospitals and William P. Clements Jr University Hospital at UT Southwestern Medical Center.