Written by Betty Holland, UTS Bachelor of Midwifery graduate
This January I coordinated the Health Summer School.
It’s part of the U@Uni Summer School initiative which has been facilitated by the UTS Equity and Diversity Unit since 2009. It seeks to provide students from low-socioeconomic background high schools in south-west Sydney an opportunity to explore their options in tertiary education, with Summer School programs run by each faculty at UTS.
I was a mentor for this program last year, and was excited at the opportunity to step up because it involves so many things I am passionate about:
- promoting healthcare
- encouraging inclusivity and the premise that uni can be for everyone
- inspiring and emboldening these students to push through the challenge that is the HSC
What’s it all about?
35 high school students were given an immersive uni experience and a real taste of the #utshealth life. They commuted into the city each day, learnt healthcare skills and used resources in our state-of-the-art health labs like current nursing and midwifery students, made friends and created a community, and even took part in a graduation ceremony – just as you would at UTS.
Here’s a taste of what we got up to:
Students attended hands-on workshops in hand hygiene, wound dressing and urinalysis, practised CPR skills in simulation, and used realistic birthing manikins to accoucheur (aka catch or deliver) a baby during a labour and birth simulation. What’s more, guest speakers covered topics from mindfulness, to overseas work with Medecins San Frontieres, to a UTS Sport and Exercise Science student (Clementine) who ran a practical workshop.
How did everything come together?
This program couldn’t have been a success without my incredible team of student mentors – nursing and midwifery students and graduates – who facilitated the sessions and were just as keen to share their knowledge, expertise and life experiences: Jack, Ella and Tori (Bachelor of Nursing); Keshana, Caitlin and Alana (Bachelor of Midwifery). These are young health professionals who are passionate about education and the future of the healthcare system, and I am so thankful for the time and effort they put in.
I believe that our U@Uni Health Summer School graduates will go on to make a HUGE difference as future healthcare professionals. It has been such a joy and privilege to coordinate this engaging and immersive program for them!