Stu­dents in­tro­duced to health sci­ences

Work­shop at Me­mo­rial lays out op­tions for pos­si­ble ca­reers


Over 100 stu­dents from 20 schools in the prov­ince, in­clud­ing As­cen­sion Col­le­giate in Bay Roberts, spent Wed­nes­day, May 17 at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity’s Med­i­cal School and the Col­lege of the North At­lantic, where they par­tic­i­pated in a va­ri­ety of hands-on work­shops that cov­ered ev­ery­thing from learn­ing about bac­te­ria par­a­sites and fungi that cause hu­man dis­ease to look­ing at the body’s bones and or­gans and hear­ing about how they work.

The Cana­dian Med­i­cal Hall of Fame hosted the Dis­cov­ery Days event.

The Hall of Fame was es­tab­lished in 1994 to hon­our those who have made great con­tri­bu­tions to the field of medicine. Since that time the or­ga­ni­za­tion has ex­panded its man­date by en­gag­ing the coun­try’s health pro­fes­sion­als in ed­u­ca­tion work­shops that en­cour­age youth to pur­sue ca­reers in the health sci­ences.

The work­shops help stu­dents “think out­side the box” and open their eyes to nu­mer­ous health sci­ences ca­reers, and not just doc­tors and nurses, said Hall of Fame co-or­di­na­tor Jan­ice Mc­nor­gan.

The Hall of Fame is based in London, On­tario. The or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fers yearly Dis­cov­ery Days at uni­ver­si­ties through­out the coun­try.

Me­mo­rial Univer­sity has been a host site ev­ery year for the past 12 years.

“Places like this are com­mit­ted to the pro­gram. Stu­dents that come to the work­shops might not nec­es­sar­ily come to Me­mo­rial, but we are ex­pos­ing them to the op­tions they have avail­able,” Mc­nor­gan said.

One of the ses­sions was called “Phar­macy: More than Count­ing Pills,” which al­lowed stu­dents to try their hand at mak­ing lip balm.

Fif­teen-year-old Holly Crane from As­cen­sion Col­le­giate and her school­mates Kelsey Coombs, 16, and Becky Os­borne, 15, stood to­gether lis­ten­ing to the phar­macy in­struc­tor be­fore giv­ing it a try.

Holly said they learned a lot more than how to make a prod­uct to keep their lips moist.

“Phar­ma­cists can do a lot of things and not just work in a phar­macy,” Holly said.

“They can work in a drug store or can work in a hospi­tal or can teach phar­macy,” Becky added.

Kelsey said the stu­dents left the work­shop know­ing what cour­ses they’d need to take in pre­par­ing for phar­macy school.

Holly is now in­ter­ested in study­ing phar­macy as a ca­reer path.

“I wanted to be a phar­ma­cist be­fore but now I know more about it and I know it’s want I want to do,” she said.

Four­teen-year-old Mitchell Lun­dri­gan was one of five stu­dents from Clarenville Mid­dle School who par­tic­i­pated in the work­shops, along with their teacher Ar­lene Barnes.

Mitchell said it was neat mix­ing in­gre­di­ents to make lip balm.

“We had a base and we added colour­ing and starch and flavour,” he said, hold­ing up a small plas­tic bot­tle of his fin­ished prod­uct.

Mitchell said he signed up for the work­shops be­cause he wanted to learn more about the sci­ences.

“It was good be­cause we got to do things. We didn’t just have to sit and lis­ten. And I al­ways thought phar­ma­cists just or­dered pills in, but they ac­tu­ally make them,” he said.

While many of her stu­dents were busy in other work­shops, Ar­lene Barnes par­tic­i­pated in a ses­sion that taught the stu­dents about the work of a health sci­ences li­brar­ian.

Li­braries have changed a great deal since she went to Me­mo­rial, she said.

The big­gest changes, she noted, are tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances.

“Stu­dents now have the op­tion to sit at home or wher­ever is con­ve­nient and log on (to the MUN web­site) as a MUN stu­dent user and re­search the pe­ri­od­i­cals and jour­nals and e-books. It’s a fab­u­lous op­por­tu­nity for them and much more en­cour­ag­ing than when we were stu­dents,” Barnes said.

Seven­teen-year-old Brit­tany O’keefe of Laval High School in Pla­cen­tia said the morn­ing work­shop she at­tended on hu­man pa­tient sim­u­la­tion was both hands-on and in­ter­est­ing.

“We got to see how a com­puter pa­tient sim­u­la­tor is used and we got to work on the sim­u­la­tor. We opened up air­ways and we in­serted a chest tube. I thought it would all be just at­tend­ing classes but it was much more than that. It was a real learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said. On the Web:­n­med­


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