Healthy interest in medical workshop for Bega students

INDIGENOUS students from Bega Valley high schools got a taste of careers in the health profession on Friday thanks to a workshop held by ANU Medical School.

Students from Years 10 to 12 were invited to not only meet with Indigenous medical students and other health professional at Bega Hospital’s Rural Clinic School (RCS) but they also got to participate in some fun activities.

Most popular was “my own bugs”, where students shone a UV light on their hands after applying a lotion that showed all the invisible dirt.

While the idea was to show the importance of hand washing in the health profession, it certainly got a laugh and more than a few cries of “gross” from the high schoolers.

Second year ANU medical students Charmaine Earnshaw and Danielle Dries were on hand to talk students through blood pressure checks and the anatomy health quiz.

Dr Andy Petrowski, who teaches at the RCS and also works with Katungul, talked about ECGs and heart health with students

Also popular was a tour of an ambulance courtesy of paramedics Rhys Tamatea and Tara Norris.

Perhaps less popular was the station of diabetes nurse Karen Enright who asked students to test their own blood sugars with a lancet device.

While all participants were interested in Ms Enright’s diabetes knowledge, they were far less interested in drawing their own blood with the lancet.

Following a morning of interactive activities there was a break for a barbecue lunch.

Later in the afternoon many of the Indigenous health workers present spoke with students about their career path.

“This is a great program, the day has a lot of benefits for these students,” Dennis Scott from Bega’s Aboriginal community health service Healthy For Life said.

“It gives them insight into being in control of their own health outcomes and it’s also about giving any student interested a taste of what a career in the health profession might be like.”

Coordinator of the event, ANU Medical School’s Indigenous health project officer Gaye Doolan, said the program was held on alternate years between Bega and Cowra.

“I think it does make a difference, I know of one girl from our last Bega day who went back and repeated her year so that she’d have the marks to get into nursing after coming to this workshop,” Ms Doolan said.

ANU Medical School held Friday’s workshop in conjunction with Southern NSW Medicare Local. 

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