On 4-5 March 2017, post-secondary students studying several health care disciplines received a unique opportunity to work on one special patient: the “Medi-Man”.
The Medi-Man is a computerized human patient simulator, located at the high school in Bassano, Alberta, that enables students to check vitals, diagnose, and treat medical emergencies, while interacting with school staff and local health professionals.
In March 2017, more than 60 medical, nursing, respiratory and physio therapy, and EMS students from Alberta universities and colleges undertook a number of scenarios on the simulator as part an RPAP Medical Skills weekend.
According to Connie Goudie, a teacher at Bassano School, the idea behind the Medi-Man project is to give students a taste of rural medicine, providing high school credit and helping students to make informed career decisions.
“[The school administration] thought if they had this kind of facility that students could be exposed to [health care] at a younger age and really pique their interest in the medical field,” says Goudie. “Or [it could] help them to realize that maybe they didn’t want to go into medicine—this isn’t what [they] thought it was going to be.”
Not only does the Medi-Man provide a unique opportunity for Bassano students to experience health care first-hand, according to Goudie, the simulator is also used by local EMS, nurses, and doctors to “have access to little more training” in a rural environment.
RPAP Medical Skills events provide rural Alberta communities with a valuable opportunity to make a positive impression on future healthcare professionals through showcasing local amenities and attractions. In addition to receiving tours of local medical facilities and sites of interest, including the historic Bassano Dam and the Gentherm Global Power Technologies Manufacturing Plant, students were guests at a Saturday-evening community dinner, and a Sunday morning pancake breakfast.
Skills Days and Skills Weekend events, sponsored by Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan, are arranged by the RPAP Health Professionals’ Initiatives Coordinator and are scheduled throughout the year in rural Alberta communities.
Visit www.rpap.ab.ca/skillsweekend to learn more about RPAP Medical Skills events.