By Melissa Weisman
A representative from the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, the third largest non-profit, secular healthcare system in the country, and the largest on Long Island, spoke with students on campus on Thursday, April 3, about jobs in the health care field.
Gregory Saukulak, the Manager of Strategic Sourcing at LIJ, spoke to a large audience of mostly Health Care majors in the Kahn building during common hour. “We are the number one employer on Long Island,” said Saukulak. “The health care field includes health centers, labs, physician offices, ambulatory services, tertiary hospitals, nursing and rehab centers, homecare and hospices, and assisted living,” he added.
“What we’re doing as a health system is pulling all together under one umbrella so that we can service the patients and their families. This aspect is very important to the future of health care because of the changes that are happening right now, including an aging population, an obese society, shortages of doctors, and emerging consumerism, among others,” Saukulak said. “One of the things we’re going to wind up seeing is that patients out there have a lot more choices in health-care services, so customer service is going to be one of our main focuses,” he added. “The size, the diversity of services, and the rate of growth are what make our facility unique.”
“We have affiliations all around, besides the hospital, within our network,” Saukulak added. “All of which allow us to provide not only continuous care for our patients, but also a multitude of services that individuals may need throughout their lives, and the care that they need for their health.”
Saukulak informed Post students about the unique attributes of LIJ. “We see about four million patients a year, and we have the largest fleet of ambulances in the Northeast right now,” he said. “Our system includes 17 hospitals and a variety of medical centers, and continues to expand. It employs approximately 47,000 people in a variety of areas, not just the medical professions,” he added. NSLIJ is the largest private employer in NY State.
Job opportunities in the health care industry seem to be the most stable form of employment compared to some other jobs out there, and the New York State Department of Labor expects growth in this area over the next decade.
Working for a hospital system is not just for Health Care majors; students in business or information technology fields can also partake in this type of work.
The nursing field, in particular, give a lot of opportunities. There will be a nursing shortage in the near future because 75 percent of nurses are over 40, according to Saukulak. Specific “growth areas of demand are nurse practitioners and physician assistants; they can do anything a doctor can do from an ambulatory setting. There is also a need for home health care aids, physical therapists, occupational therapists, lab techs, as well as professionals in medical coding and billing. The more specialized you are, the more valuable your skill set is, especially if you are a medical practitioner or a physician assistant,” Saukulak said.
“During the hospital’s recruiting process, we identify candidates through opportunities posted through our website (lijcareers. com),” Saukulak said. He encouraged students to set up a profile and sign up for job offers through the website, so that one can receive emails about jobs that matches with what one is looking for.
“Once we identify a potential candidate, a recruiter views their resume and conducts a phone or a Skype interview to determine if they’re a potential fit for the role,” he said. “It takes 45 minutes to an hour for an interview. If it makes sense to move forward, we send you to the hiring manager. If the hiring manager wants to see you, we schedule a face-to-face interview with him. After an offer is given, the candidate goes through a background check and fingerprinting,” Saukulak explained.
The hospital system offers internships as well as paid positions. “Applying for internships can be different depending on the program that the student is in,” Saukulak said. “In most cases, internship opportunities and all guidelines can be found online. In other cases, the student should check with his or her department, especially
if an internship is built into the academic program. There is also opportunities for students to volunteer at the hospital. Those positions can be found online, as well.”
“I already work at LIJ hospital in a psychiatric research clinic, and I do data entry and assist with certain things such as preparing biological samples. It is a volunteer job and my title is a ‘visiting scholar,’” said Stephanie Rubenfeld, a junior Psychology major. “I love working at LIJ. It is a pleasant and friendly environment, and I have gotten great experience,” she added.
“I heard about the LIJ recruitment event and went because I am interested in pursuing a career in the health care field. The more information I know now, the better chance I will have in the future of getting an internship or job,” said Greg Salanitro, a freshman Health Care Administration major, and added, ”Everyone should take advantage of any speakers that come to Post because they can learn a lot of valuable information and even talk to the speaker after the lecture.”