Indigenous students from Bega Valley high schools had a taste of careers in the health profession last 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 professionals at Bega Hospital's Rural Clinical School (RCS) but they also participated 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.
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.
Article by Brooke Ormes, courtesy of Bega District News
Photo: Second year medical student Danielle Dries talks about anatomy with Eden Marine High School students. Part of ANU's graduate medical program, Ms Dries is also a qualified physiotherapist and spoke to participants about the many pathways into the health profession.