Sarasota Memorial Hospital: A potential location for students to work
The exterior of Sarasota Memorial Hospital U.S. Highway 41. (Photo by Saloanee Labh.)

Sarasota Memorial Hospital: A potential location for students to work

Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) is a bedrock of Sarasota County’s health care system, with the only “trauma center, obstetrical services, neonatal intensive care unit, inpatient pediatrics unit and psychiatric services for patients,” according to their official website

Healing environments in health care are very necessary, not only for patients, but also for the hard-working medical professionals who spend so much of their time meeting the harrowing responsibility of saving lives. 

The Catalyst spoke with the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer, Lisa Baumgardner, about the variety of services SMH provides and their impact. 

“What people don’t realize about health care is [that] there are all kinds of jobs,” Baumgardner said. “It’s not just nurses and doctors; there’s x-ray technicians and workers in clinical systems and registration, all kinds of jobs… It’s like a little city here.”

Baumgardner commented on several therapy programs that help to create a healing environment at SMH.  “We currently have a music therapy program that is really popular with patients and families, where a music therapist travels to the Venice campus of Sarasota Memorial,” she said. “One of the other things we do is pet therapy. It’s one of the most popular things, whether it be for SMH patients or SMH employees, because it just takes people’s minds off of being in the hospital.”

Baumgardner mentioned that in the past, New College students have shown up to intern in artistic therapy sessions.  One such volunteer, who preferred not to named, spoke with the Catalyst about their experience. “As someone who has seen loved ones endure mistreatment in medical facilities while simultaneously  experiencing agonizing physical pain, I truly believe that hospitals without souls have lost their purpose as remedial and restorative institutions,” they said.

The hospital’s emphasis on care is reflected in its national rankings. This year, Newsweek and Statista Inc.’s lLocal news ranked Sarasota Memorial as the fifth best hospital in the world in terms of low death rates and care. This source also ranked SMH 31st in rehabilitation and 46th in obstetrics and gynecology. Most notably, Forbes ranked it as 4th best Florida-based employer, just behind NASA, Costco Wholesale and Google. A running list of the hospital’s awards and distinctions are on their official website.

It may be productive for NCF students interested in health care to know of the job and volunteer opportunities available at Sarasota Memorial. More information can be found at

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