Peek inside real-world healthcare

Behind-the-scene hospital areas are not usually places the public is allowed to go,

PHARMACY: Filling Vitamin K injections used primarily for newborns are Jean Johnson

PHARMACY: Filling Vitamin K injections used primarily for newborns are Jean Johnson

Behind-the-scene hospital areas are not usually places the public is allowed to go, but Project Health has given some dedicated students a rare chance.

“At one point the doctor brought out pigs feet for us to stitch.  I liked it being hands on since I want to become a surgeon,” said Catherine Stier, Gr 11 at Nechako Valley Secondary School.

Project Healthcare is sponsored by the School District No. 91 career and trades program in partnership with UNBC and Northern Health.

Last month 24 students from Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Burns Lake and Fraser Lake enjoyed the freedom of touring various healthcare roles such as home support and recreational therapy to pharmacy and housekeeping. Participants ventured over two days to an array of stations at St. John Hospital in Vanderhoof and UNBC’s GeneSkool lab in Prince George (PG).

Multiple interactive presentations with hands-on activity’s were given by nurses, dieticians, surgeons and X-ray technicians to name a few.

“It was very educational and allowed me to find out what I like and don’t like. I really enjoyed the pharmacy stuff where we made blister packs (pill kits) and learned about IV,” Taylor Harder said, Gr 11 at Fraser Lake Elementary Secondary School.

In previous years Project Health has provided a similar opportunity for selected students however this year had some changes. A Post Anesthesia Recovery section was added, as well as an open job fair with roundtable discussions during the second day’s activities on the blood-lab trip to PG.

Youth were given the rare opportunity to learn first hand what the jobs entail and also learned how much they would make, Darren Carpenter said, career and trades program co-ordinator. “We were so fortunate to have the staff at St. John host us for the day with such a unique structure of learning that you don’t typically see anywhere else in the province,” Mr. Carpenter said.  “The second day at gene school gave students the chance to go into a university level lab and were shown how to spilt DNA. It was absolutely full access.”

This year had 38 applicants. Students were scored on academics, maturity and interest.