Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

More than 300 high school students from across the New England have dived into the world of healthcare at the University of Newcastle’s Student Career forum this week.

The forum aims to inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals by showcasing the diverse and rewarding career opportunities available in medicine, nursing, and allied health, through interactive sessions, engaging presentations, and hands-on activities.

“We invited high school students, from year 10 to year 12, who are considering a career in the health sector to come to the Tamworth educations centre and when they come in they get a talk from a range of healthcare disciplined we have, before breaking out into little session to explore them in further detail.” said Luke Wakely, Academic Team Leader North West for the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health.

“They also get to meet the university students we have studying here with us and get some insight from them what uni life is like and the course.”

By bringing the students to the health campus, organisers hope to ignite their passion for healthcare and encourage more students to consider pursuing careers in this field, particularly in rural areas in the future.

“I like seeing the kids from Bingara, Barraba and those smaller sites because they often miss out on these opportunities and living that little bit further away, some of those kids will have more barriers to attending a university education.” said Luke.

“Its important we do this because we are screaming for more health professionals in the bush,”

“We are incredibly short across all health disciplines and the more remote you go the number of health professions per capita of populations drops significantly.”

“We need to show rural kids you can go to university and that there are many pathways.”

“They are often put off by the marks your need to get to get into university and having the be away from home, we so we are able to speak with them about that.”

Organisers were pleased with the positive feedback received on the day and are eager to see more students showing an interest.

“Through these programs we can show that people who work in the country are just as good as those who work in metro areas, and that they do it for very important reason and that they are passionate and the love it.” said Luke.

“A few have had their eyes opened to professions they may not have known a lot about.”

“Things like pharmacy, mental health support services, occupation therapy or dietetics, often people don’t know either what they do or there is a narrow focus, we can provide that information.”

“And if you don’t get the marks for uni there are other pathways.”

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