When most students are getting ready to head south, play in hockey tournaments or just chill out over March break, 24 high school students interested in careers in healthcare are gearing up to spend the week at the hospital.
The fourth annual Take CARE of Your Future (Career Awareness and Resource Exploration) program, hosted by Niagara Health System and seven community partners, will be held this year from March 14 to March 18.
Twenty-four Grade 11 and 12 students will get a first-hand look at educational and work opportunities in Niagara by talking with healthcare professionals, participating in interactive presentations and workshops, and meeting peers with similar interests. Students will go on tours of various hospital departments, train with McMaster University medical students, and visit the Brock University Simulation Laboratory where they will learn how to perform medical procedures on patient simulators, which are human-like manikins.
“Interest in this program continues to grow each year,” says Tracey-Dawn Giovannone, Manager, Recruitment Services at NHS, and co-organizer of the event. “McMaster medical students participated in the program as workshop leaders for the first time last year, and the feedback from the high school students was overwhelmingly positive. We have extended this portion of the program this year so the participants will have more time to talk with the medical students and learn from them.”
Niagara Health System is hosting the event with seven community partners – Brock University, Business Education Council of Niagara, District School Board of Niagara, McMaster University, Niagara Catholic District School Board, Niagara College and Niagara Workforce Planning Board – who are providing resources, support and planning expertise to the initiative.
“This program was developed to provide students with a full understanding of healthcare career opportunities so they can make informed decisions about their career goals and ensure they are on the right academic path,” says Tracey-Dawn. “Canada is facing a critical shortage of healthcare workers, and this career exploration program is an exciting recruitment opportunity for Niagara.”
Students participate in a number of activities and interactive presentations. All but one event will be held at the NHS Welland Site, with highlights as follows:
- Monday, March 14, 12:30 p.m., Brock campus: Visit to the Brock University nursing simulation lab, where robots simulate patients to provide hands-on education opportunities
- Tuesday, March 15, 9 a.m., Welland Site Auditorium: Students will feel first-hand the impacts of physical disabilities. For example, they might be splinted, have their eyes covered or placed in wheelchairs for the day.
- Wednesday, March 16, Welland Site:
- 9 a.m., Auditorium: McMaster University medical students’ workshops. Activities include suturing, reading X-rays and patient charting.
- 2 p.m., Fracture Clinic: Students will apply casts with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bryan Rittenhouse.
- Thursday, March 17, Welland Site:
- 12 p.m., Auditorium: Informal chat with Dr. D. Goswami about his career as a family doctor.
- 2 p.m., Auditorium: Niagara College and Niagara Emergency Medical Services – Interactive presentation with Niagara Region Paramedics – Paramedics will bring the ambulance on site to demonstrate emergency response, resuscitation, proper lifting, transferring a patient from back board to stretchers.
- Friday, March 18, Welland Site:
- 9 a.m.: Tour of the Emergency Department.
- 10:30 a.m.: Tour of the Extended Care Unit.