Students get hands-on

Brianna Bloomfield, Ella Smith, and Mia Robertson.

by Khrysti Balanay

North Rockhampton State High School (NRSHS) students can now fully immerse themselves in a simulated hospital environment to provide practical experience in health care.

Amanda Pearce, NRSHS deputy principal, said the health industry is one of the largest growing industries in Queensland, so “we think it’s essential that we provide these services to our students.”

“We started the course last year with 20 students, which have since grown to over 60 students,” she said.

“The course is open to years 10, 11, and 12 and is also used by students from Glenmore State High, Mount Morgan State High, and Rockhampton State High Schools.

“Since the facility has been in use, the students have loved that we have real-life equipment, which is possible due to the donation from Ramsay Health Care in Rockhampton.”

Brianna Bloomfield is one of the students participating in the program and has found that healthcare is the career she wants to pursue.

“I am completing the AIN program and just about to go on an 80-hour placement at Benelovent Living,” she said.

“After I graduate, I am looking at doing a Bachelor in Nursing.”

Another student, Mia Robertson, said she wasn’t planning on studying nursing or health before starting the program.

“The experience has opened up so many opportunities,” she said.

“My favourite part of the program is being able to handle multiple situations and how unique it is.”

The health course is delivered by Julie Tickle, a registered midwife and teacher at Kawana Waters State College who educates the students through online learning.

“I am the trainer and assessor starting the pilot program with the original 20 students,” she said.

“They worked through a Certificate 2 in Health Support Services and are now working towards a Certificate 3 in Health Support Services.

“Out of those 20 students, there are 16 who have opted to do an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) program, and we have joined with Benelovent Living to do 80 hours of placement.

“By the end of the program, they will be industry ready as an AIN.”

Ramsay Health Care CEO Fiona Hebbard said that NRSHS approached them to form a partnership for the health care program.

“We came up with the concept that we have equipment that we have to replace after a certain time,” she said.

“We knew we had beds and ECG machines, so we began looking at what else could be brought into the health hub.

“In 2022, there is an absolute shortage in nursing, and to see this pathway for students to come out as AINs is amazing.”