Hands-on program helps aspiring healthcare students choose a career

Local high school students are being given a unique insight into a day in the life of a healthcare worker, thanks to the Aspire2Health program.

The workshops take teenagers out of the classroom so they can experience simulated scenarios and meet health professionals in the field.

This program will help grow the workforce by inspiring the youth of today to look to the health industry as a career and thus helping to address issues in the workforce of the future.

TSBE Health General Manager Jaden Frame said it’s an exciting opportunity for those interested in entering the growing industry.

“The health sector is the largest employer in the region so the Aspire2Health program is a wonderful way to ensure we link some of our brightest students to health,” said Mr Frame.

The series of workshops will begin in May and host 13 events in various locations including Toowoomba, Chinchilla, Dalby, Goondiwindi, St George, Charleville, Roma, Stanthorpe, Warwick.

Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) Director Associate Professor Geoff Argus said the Aspire2Health program identifies high school students who are interested in working in medicine, nursing or allied health and gives them a full immersion into regional and rural healthcare.

“The students participate in interactive clinical skills stations which expose them to the broad range of medical, nursing and allied health professions,” said Associate Professor Argus.

“We know that students from a rural area who undertake a health degree are more likely to return to practice in a rural area so bringing these workshops to regional and rural Southern Queensland creates a pathway for health career choices to grow the rural health workforce,” he said.

The UQ Rural Clinical School (UQRCS) Deputy Director Dr Doogie Whitcombe said the Aspire2Health program is an excellent way for Year 9 and 10 students to meet health professionals from a variety of backgrounds to inform students about what is it like to work in a regional healthcare team.

“Most students are aware the roles of a doctor or a nurse, and while these careers are discussed, there are a multitude of other career pathways the students may not be aware of,” said Dr Whitcombe.

“The main message of the day is that quality healthcare is a huge team effort which requires the input of multiple highly trained individuals.”

“These individuals come from a variety of backgrounds and have different skill sets and our aim to enthuse and excite the students into wanting to become a future member of our professional community,” he said.

Griffth University Adjunct Associate Professor Megan O’Shannessy commented that as part of the Aspire2Health program students experience what a health student does in a day at a rural hospital.

“This program gives students encouragement and self-belief to pursue a health career,” said Associate Professor O’Shannessy.

“We also share with them the various entrance pathways to health studies.”

The Aspire2Health workshops are proudly delivered in collaboration with Rural Medical Education Australia (RMEA), Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH), UQ Rural Clinical School (UCRCS), TSBE, Check-Up, University of Southern Queensland (USQ), Darling Downs West Moreton PHN, Queensland Ambulance Service and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.  

To enrol please visit:  https://ruralmeded.org.au/courses/aspire2health/ 

Please see dates of all the Aspire2Health events below:

Kingaroy - Tuesday, 10 May 

Toowoomba - Tuesday, 17 May 2022 

Toowoomba Region - Wednesday, 18 May 2022 

Chinchilla - Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Dalby - Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Goondiwindi - Tuesday, 12 July 2022

St George - Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Charleville - Tuesday, 02 August 2022

Roma - Wednesday, 03 August 2022

Toowoomba - Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Toowoomba - Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Stanthorpe - Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Warwick - Wednesday, 31 August 2022