June 22, 2017 • Written in Community Support 0 Comments

• Written by Bobby Jones

The first ever RPAP Medical Skills training event in Manning, AB was an overwhelming success.

Over post-secondary students from a variety of healthcare disciplines including medicine, nursing and physiotherapy came to discover what practising in a rural community is really like. 

On Saturday, May 27, Students were given a tour of the Manning Community Health Centre and then participated in six workshops throughout the day including physio, suturing, casting, IV starts. EMS, and the STARS Mobile Unit.  

Student Jamie Hilland from Calgary says, “As an incoming first year med student being able to be exposed to some of these things before actually entering the program is such a cool opportunity.”

The day was well organized.  Site Manager at the Manning Community health Centre, Jo Kelemen credits the health professionals, other hospital staff, local volunteers and RPAP. “I have nothing but good things to say about RPAP.  They’re amazing to work with.”

Dr. Tyler May hosted the casting workshop.  After showing students how to make an arm cast, they had their own chance. He was very impressed at how well they did considering for most it was their first ever cast.

Dr. May grew up in the Manning area and is also a rancher.  He donated beef to the Saturday night community barbecue for the students.  The Manning Physician Attraction and Retention Committee organized the supper and received great support from the local business community.  Several local professionals spoke about what it’s like practising in a rural community, including a lawyer, two pharmacists, an RN and a veterinarian.  The local band "Johnny Don't Care entertained as students played baseball, horseshoes, frisbee, and other games throughout the night.

On Sunday, the students gained a better taste of the rural lifestyle with a tour of the 10,000 acre Pharis Farms Ltd at Hawk Hills and the West Fraser Timber Mill, just north of Manning.  

Brad Rutherford, a 1st year Med Student at the U. of A. says, “It’s been great. It’s amazing how much resources go into these weekends.  It’s not something we would see otherwise.”  Brad said that he is now considering doing his third year of Medicine in a rural setting.

“One of the things I’m going to put forward for my preceptorship is a rural experience,” said Chioma Obuekwe, a 3rd year nursing student at the U. of A.

For one or more of the students to return to practise in Manning would be just what Jo Kelemen was hoping for.   “I would encourage other communities to go with a skills day.  It’s fun to do and you can see how rewarding it is with the students enjoying it.”

Kelemen credits the health professionals, other hospital staff, local volunteers and RPAP. “I have nothing but good things to say about RPAP.  They’re amazing to work with.”


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