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Take Our Kids to Work Day - a student using using orthodontic tools


All in a day’s work: Grade 9 students explore health careers on campus

November 2, 2017 — 

Like a lot of people her age, 14-year-old Naomi Epp has braces on her teeth.

But she had never pictured the working life of an orthodontist until she tried using pliers to precisely bend and cut wire in a College of Dentistry lab on Take Our Kids to Work Day.

“I go to the orthodontist every four weeks, but I never really understood what kinds of things they do,” said Naomi, a science-loving student from Kelvin High School.

Naomi, whose career goal is “something in medicine,” said she was learning a lot from the day of career exploration. “It’s opening up doors and letting me realize what kind of skills it takes for different professions.”

Take Our Kids to Work Day, a national initiative, encourages Grade 9 students to spend a day at the workplace of a parent, relative, friend or volunteer host. On Nov. 1, the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences provided a full-day, hands-on program for young visitors, introducing them to a range of health careers.

About 40 Grade 9 students from more than 20 local schools rotated through workshops at the four Rady Faculty colleges located on the Bannatyne campus.

Stefan Detillieux, 14, from Lorette Collegiate enjoyed the activities in the Clinical Learning and Simulation Facility at the Max Rady College of Medicine. The students performed life-saving techniques on a medical manikin.

“I didn’t know any of that stuff before,” Stefan said. “The defibrillator machine was pretty cool.”

Holly Wong, a 14-year-old from Arthur A. Leach School, said she is interested in the health sciences and loved the hands-on experience in the simulation facility. “You didn’t have to just look at a video or watch things being done,” she said. “You actually got to try it out and see what it was like.”

The students also tried their hands at cleaning teeth in the School of Dental Hygiene at the College of Dentistry and concocting sunscreen at the College of Pharmacy.

At the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, activities included intubating a manikin in respiratory therapy, steering wheelchairs in occupational therapy and identifying human bones in physical therapy.

Mohammad Albaghdadi, a 13-year-old from Andrew Mynarski VC School, enjoyed a demonstration of adaptive kitchen utensils used in occupational therapy.

“I got to learn how people with a missing arm can use tools to help them in life,” Mohammad said. He rated the whole day “awesome,” but said his favourite part was seeing real pig’s lungs that “breathed” and other aspects of respiratory therapy.

“I like lungs and how they work,” he said. “I’ll either try to be a dentist or a lung surgeon.”

Esmé Franck, 14, from Kelvin High School, said the best part of her day was discovering physiotherapy as a potential career.

“I’ve had physio treatment before, but I never actually thought about what they did,” she said.

“I learned more about what physiotherapy and rehab does to help people recover from injuries. I liked the actual bones – you got to touch them and guess what body part they were.”

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