Doctor, nurse, paramedic are just a few of the career examples high school students were exposed to at a May 15 RhPAP Skills Event in Brooks.
Present and potential health-care professionals took part in the "Grow Your Own" health-care skills day for high school students at the Brooks Campus of Medicine Hat College. Students from five area schools participated in stations and received a tour instruction from local health-care professionals in several skills including, IV and injections, CPR and first aid, suturing, and being a paramedic.
Simone Empson, site manager for the Brooks Health Centre, was one of the organizers of the high school skills event. She was approached by Lara Harries, RhPAP Rural Community Consultant, to host a skills say following the 2018 RhPAP Community Conference in that community. Empson believes there is no better way to recruit healthcare professionals than for communities to grow their own.
"Own goal is to make sure that everyone is aware that not everyone wants to work in the city, and that there are plenty of opportunities in small communities such as Brooks to find a career in health care," explained Empson.
Students from St. Joseph’s Collegiate, Brooks Composite High School, Bassano High School, Duchess High School and Rosemary High School, participated the event, receiving the opportunity to learn new skills, and meet new people.
Farren Moss, a grade 11 student attending Bassano High School, hoped the event will help her learn more about her future career.
“I’ve always known I wanted to become a vet and at this event I know I will learn more to help achieve my dream," says Moss.
Tegan Goudie, a high school student, shared a similar sentiment.
“I’m really interested in rural medicine and hope to pursue a career as a Registered Nurse and hope to learn lots for a career, I hope to start after high school," added Goudie.
Event instructors were given an opportunity to showcase their skills for students. Holly Oliver-Webber, a Medical Unit Clerk at Brooks Health Center and a Heart and Stroke instructor who taught students CPR / First Aid, wished they had an event like this when she was in school.
“We need lots of rural nursing and doctors, and it’s such a rewarding job. The kids really enjoy the event, and they learned that they can help, and any help is better than no help at all," Oliver-Webber explained.
In the end, this skills event at Brooks was fun, rewarding and informative, and students learned that rural health care can be just as exciting and rewarding as any larger community.
/ Photos and article by Eric Granson