Flagstaff County communities introduced future healthcare professionals to the advantages of living and working in rural Alberta communities at a recent RPAP Medical Skills Weekend event.
The Flagstaff Community Medical Recruitment and Retention Committee, Alberta Health Services, and Covenant Health, teamed up with RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta to showcase lifestyle and career opportunities to 55 Medical, Nursing, Physio and Paramedic students from the University of Alberta (U of A) and NAIT.
Three local high school students joined students at Killam Health Centre on Nov. 14, where they received a crash course on medical practice, nursing, EMS and physiotherapy in a rural community. Local healthcare professionals instructed students at a variety of skills stations, which covered topics such as suturing, IV starts, ultrasound, EMS Spinal Immobilization, and dementia.
University of Alberta medical student, Wyatt Warawa, enjoyed the opportunity to learn from Killam family physician, Dr. Sam Ogbeide, and, Dr. Nicole Muller, from Wainwright.
"We don't get a lot of opportunity in med school to practice the some of clinical stuff, so coming out to see the family docs here who are dedicated to teaching, it's really great to get that experience."
Participants were also treated to two meals and an evening of entertainment at the Sedgewick Royal Canadian Legion branch, as well as tours of a local Hutterite colony and the Daysland Health Centre, all hosted by the Flagstaff committee, and sponsored by RPAP.
Nancy Hammer, a nursing student from the U of A, says there was a huge demand from her fellow students to attend the Medical Skills event.
"It's an amazing opportunity that RPAP is allowing inter-disciplinary cooperation. We had so many students interested, so it's just a wonderful opportunity that we get to join in on the weekend."
Regardless of whether these students eventually work at his site or not, Paul Vieira, site administrator at Daysland Health Centre, says the whole health system wins when people are aware what options they have.
"It gives me hope for the health system when I see that many people still interested and excited about helping people in their various professions - it’s nice to be a part of that."
Medical Skills Weekends, sponsored by RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta, are arranged by the RPAP Medical Students' Initiative Coordinator and are scheduled throughout the year in rural Alberta communities. To learn more about Medical Skills Weekends, see www.rpap.ab.ca/skillsweekends.
RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta is an independent, not-for-profit company funded by the Alberta Ministry of Health. Established in 1991 by the Government of Alberta, RPAP supports the ongoing efforts of Alberta’s rural physicians, their families and communities to improve the quality of rural health care.
Also see - Gallery: Flagstaff hosts a banner RPAP Medical Skills weekend