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Community & Business

7 June, 2021

Healthcare workshop inspires CSHS students

A group of year 9 and 10 Clifton State High School (CSHS) travelled to Toowoomba to attend the Aspire2Health workshop, learning about what the career paths of working in medicine, nursing and allied health are like.

Clifton State High School students Taylor Browne, Brianna Naumann and Elizah Feltham experienced a small slice of the world of medicine, nursing and allied health at the Aspire2Health workshop in Toowoomba.

The students witnessed an inter-professional scenario, heard from health professionals about their disciplines and participated in clinical skills stations on plastering, suturing, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and various allied health skills.  

The Aspire2Health program targets regional, rural and remote high school students who are interested in working in medicine, nursing or allied health and gives them a full immersion into regional and rural healthcare.

The year 9 and 10 CSHS students in attendance, Taylor Browne, Brianna Naumann and Elizah Feltham, were selected to go on a first-to-apply basis.

Taylor said she was interested in medicine with a view to working with Doctors without Borders, Brianna in Sports Physiotherapy and Elizah in nursing with a view to joining the Rural Flying Doctors.

The students said they were pleased to see the extensive variety of career opportunities available within the field and talk to different professionals throughout the day.

Students from several different high schools across the Toowoomba Region watched on as the Aspire2Health workshop demonstrated a first response situation.

UQ Rural Clinical School Toowoomba Director Dr Doogie Whitcombe said the purpose of the workshop was to get students from local schools to have a look at opportunities and careers in healthcare.

Dr Whitcombe said it was not only about medicine but about allied health as well.

“Although it is based at the hospital and run by the University of Queensland, it’s a collaboration from lots of different organisations across our patch trying to infuse and support students in their career choices and their future careers,” he said.

Dr Whitcombe said the workshop is about giving students a better idea about what would lie ahead for a career in healthcare.

“We try to make it fun, try to make it interactive, and we think all our careers are great careers and we want to encourage the students today to explore them as ideas.

“These careers are not for everyone and it’s the students opportunity to speak with a whole wide range of people to see if medicine, nursing, midwifery and all the rest of it is for them,” Dr Whitcombe said.

Samantha Ward, the Clinical Skills and Simulation Academic Co-ordinator for UQ Rural Clinical School Toowoomba said there is a large number of opportunities for careers in health in the Darling Downs.

“I guess one of our main goals is to encourage students from rural areas to enter into health because we know that there’s limited health professionals that are out there in the bush, so we want those kids to choose a career in health and then to come back and work in our region,” she said.

The workshop, one of a series run for high school students across the Darling Downs and South West, was organised by the University of Queensland Rural Clinical School in conjunction with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, Rural Medical Education Australia, Griffith University, Southern Queensland Rural Health and The University of Southern Queensland.

The collaboration also has support from the Darling Downs West Moreton Primary Health Network.

The Aspire2Health work-shop, held annually, ran over four days this year after it was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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