Photo above: Hillcrest High School students Irish, Kristen, Nicole, Kea Leigh and Rebecca with a “friend” at Waikato DHB’s Health Careers Day.
What attracts young people to a career in health?
More than 100 enthusiastic students from Hamilton high schools packed the auditorium at Waikato Hospital yesterday to hear what working in health is really like. And if they take home messages from the health professionals who spoke, they will know a passion for making a difference, enjoying working with people, and a curiosity about life are just as important as the qualifications the careers require.
The students were there as part of the Health Careers Day annually sponsored by Waikato District Health Board.
The aim of the day is to promote the vast number of careers in health. That is reflected in comments made by the students themselves, many of whom thought of health careers just as doctors, nurses and maybe a couple of other professions.
The sessions open their eyes to the wide range of fascinating career options available – from occupational therapists to anaesthetic technicians to medical lab scientists or dietitians.
Theatre nursing, medical radiation therapy, speech language therapy, clinical physiology, and audiology were other professions covered on the day – as well as being a doctor.
Many of the professions and specialties held interactive displays after the main presentations where students could get “hands on” with equipment and ask questions. The packed room and high energy levels were testament to their enthusiasm and interest.
Anaesthetist educator Iain MacLeod and trainee anaesthetic technician Selina Ryan said that their profession is one of those many young people are unlikely to hear about – they both found out about anaesthesia only through word of mouth from people they knew. “These career days are so much better at letting people know what a wide range of health roles there are,” they say.
Clare Bateson, coordinator with the DHB’s Recruitment service says there is no shortage of students keen to attend the annual Health Careers Day.
“We contact schools let them know what we are offering, and the spaces are filled on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. The response is always very positive.”