Hands-on health for 50 Indigenous students

Wednesday 17 December 2014

The plaster was flying thick and fast when 50 Indigenous high school students came to Canberra for a hands-on health session at ANU on December 3.

Putting the visitors through their paces were members of the ANU Medical School Rural Medical Society (ARMS), one of the 28 clubs that belong to the National Rural Health Students' Network (NRHSN).

The Indigenous students from the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Queensland were rotated through a series of stations covering anatomy, neurology, blood pressure and plastering.

“We wanted to have some fun but also get them thinking about health careers,” says event organiser Amanda Steele, an Indigenous medical student at the Medical School. “I was thrilled to see them so clearly engaged, laughing and asking questions.  Promoting, supporting and increasing the number of Indigenous students undertaking university health degrees is crucial to improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health outcomes.”

The event was held at the ANU Science Teaching Facilities and was part of the three-day Yalbalinga ANU Indigenous Youth Camp.

The ANU Medical School students attending saw their participation as a natural extension of the Rural High School Visit program, a core activity of the NRHSN and its Rural Health Clubs.  This is an outreach program to country schools that promotes health careers.

Photo: ANU medical student Kawthar Barkat supervises the blood pressure station.

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