By Kevin J. Sabo
For the Advance
Around 30 high school students from around the region participated in a medical ‘skills day’ at Castor’s Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital.
High school students from Castor’s Gus Wetter School, Coronation school, and Consort school attended the day of events at the hospital, which had the students interacting with various health care providers.
The interactive stations included occupational therapy, casting, suturing, hand hygiene, injections, and representatives from EMS. Students were invited to participate at the various stations by practicing in various skills, which included suturing a pork-hock, injecting an orange with saline solution, placing an IV into a training arm, or placing an airway in a mannequin.
The day was put on by the hospital, Castor’s physician recruitment and retention committee, the County of Paintearth, the Town of Castor, and the Rural health Physician Action Plan (RhPAP).
“The focus of this particular initiative is to focus in on encouraging students from our rural communities to consider a career in rural health care, starting in high school and continuing on into undergraduate studies,” said Castor Hospital Administrator Colleen Enns.
“We are so very fortunate and grateful for the wonderful support of RhPAP for providing educational resources and school outreach programming, together with our health care team from the hospital!”
RhPAP sponsors around a dozen of these skills days around the province each year and is focused on attracting and retaining practitioners in the rural communities.
RhPAP, which until a mandate change three years ago, mainly focused on physician recruitment, however their mandate changed and the organization is now committed to grow health practitioners of all sorts in the rural areas of the province.
“We believe in growing your own,” said Laura Harries, one of the six consultants that work with RhPAP.
“We only work with rural communities. These days are for high school students interested in a health care career.”
RhPAP partners with rural communities all over the province and can sponsor these skills days in a community every other year, though if communities want to offer a similar program on a yearly basis they are free to do so.