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Teens in a hospital simulation lab watch a demonstration with a medical manikin performed by a resident ER doctor.

Students get hands-on health career experience at Bannatyne campus

November 3, 2023 — 

On Nov. 1, 22 Grade 9 students from approximately 16 local schools visited Bannatyne campus for Take Our Kids to Work Day, a nation-wide initiative that encourages students to spend a day at the workplace of a parent, relative, friend or volunteer host.

Rady Faculty of Health Sciences organized a full-day program highlighting various health-related careers.

The day began with the faculty’s Clinical Learning & Simulation Program demonstrating how Rady students learn from working with lifelike medical manikins. One of the manikins lay on a hospital bed in front of the group and got their attention by breathing and blinking. It also answered questions from the students, such as, “How are you feeling?”

During the presentation by simulation director Dr. Cheryl ffrench and two medical residents, an alarm beeped to signify that “Frank” had gone into cardiac arrest. The students were called upon to help save the manikin and were up on their feet, performing CPR and checking for vital signs.

Khaled Haman, from St. John’s-Ravenscourt School, was impressed with the demonstration. He said it confirmed his interest that he’d like to one day work in surgery.

“I really enjoyed experiencing the code blue action and working with the ER doctors to learn about what they need to do in that situation. I think it was really interesting. It was a fun experience for me,” he said.

The students then broke into two smaller groups and alternated through workshops focused on other health fields. The sessions combined presentations, hands-on learning and opportunities for discussion.

At the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, the occupational therapy program gave the Grade 9 students insight into OT by testing out assistive devices for people who have limited motor skills and discovering the challenges faced by wheelchair users.

They learned about respiratory therapy by taking breathing tests administered by current students and watching intubation demonstrations on a manikin, which they were also given a chance to try for themselves.

The students then had the opportunity to make lip balm and sunscreen at the College of Pharmacy. And to the delight of the students, they got to keep their creations.

At the next activity, microscopes were set up in a temporary lab. Faculty from the department of medical microbiology and infectious diseases in the Max Rady College of Medicine led youth in examining items of various complexity ranging from the wing of a bee to stomach cells and a strand of E. coli.

A highlight of the day for Lotus Mendoza, of Garden City Collegiate, was visiting a training lab at the Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry. She’s interested in a career in dentistry or orthodontics and got to try some of the equipment used by students in the School of Dental Hygiene.

Part of that included performing simple tasks while looking in a mirror, such as writing your own name. The students running the workshop stressed that mirror use is a constant part of a dental hygienist’s job.

“Working with the mirrors was really challenging. It’s something I didn’t think about before,” Mendoza said. “I liked the whole dentistry area. It was fun. I think working with teeth is pretty cool.”

Watch a social media video featuring highlights of Take Our Kids to Work Day at Bannatyne campus.

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