Conestoga news

May 28, 2024 12:24 PM

Health expo showcases career options and college facilities for high school students

Nearly 200 high school students from across southern Ontario came to a health expo held at Conestoga’s Kitchener - Doon campus to learn more about careers in health care.

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Respiratory therapy student Roshieka Russell talked about her program to high school students at a health expo hosted at Conestoga's Kitchener - Doon campus.

The inaugural event was hosted by the School of Health & Life Sciences with support from Student Recruitment on April 30 for Grade 11 and 12 students primarily enrolled in a Specialist High Skills Major - Health and Wellness stream. The specialized provincially approved program allows students to gain credits toward their high school diploma while focusing their learning on a specific economic sector.

Students came to the health expo from 11 schools, travelling by bus from areas as far afield as Milton, Brantford and Tillsonburg. Along with connecting with program teams to learn more about options for health-related careers, they also joined hands-on activities. Tours were also offered of the Cowan Health Sciences Centre, which was made possible with a transformative gift from the Cowan Foundation to advance health care with high-quality programming.

Seven programs were showcased: Fitness and Health Promotion, Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist Assistant, Nutrition and Food Service Management, Paramedic, Respiratory Therapy, Hearing Instrument Specialist, and Massage Therapy.

Conestoga employees were on hand to greet students, along with numerous current health-sciences students who volunteered their time to share their experiences at the college.

The expo was an “overwhelming success” in terms of both the number of students exceeding expectations and how engaged they were at the event, said Dianna Fong Lee, chair of Health Sciences.

“There was no lag time. It was two hours of non-stop interaction with highly engaged students,” Fong Lee said.

Teachers were also impressed in how engaging the expo was for the students, in particular all the hands-on stations where students tried skills such as intubation and performing CPR. Tours of simulation labs used to practise providing care gave students insight into the programs and what to expect, teachers said in their feedback.

Milton District High School teacher Suse Ferreira said the expo was an amazing experience for her students, and urged that it be held again next year.

“They absolutely loved the hands-on and interactive booths and visits to the labs. The instructors and student volunteers were outstanding and so patient and informative for the students. I was thoroughly impressed with them.”

Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences offers a range of credentials to assist students in their goal of becoming a health-care professional. From pre-health programs, through to certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates and degrees, the school delivers the most up-to-date training provided by expert faculty and staff in state-of-the-art facilities.

Work-integrated learning is at the core of many of the programs. Whether through a field placement, clinical practicum or co-operative education experience, students will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience with an industry partner that will put training into practice.