Barriere Secondary students visit health care roadshow

By Adam Donnelly
May 9, 2017 - 5:15pm

KAMLOOPS — As we’ve heard during the provincial election campaign, health care is an important topic throughout British Columbia, especially in rural areas of the province. Last Friday, students at Barriere Secondary School got the opportunity to learn about careers in health, from university students who are studying in various areas of the field. The hope is the roadshow might help attract these high school students into a career in health care when the time comes.

With a variety of options when it comes to post-secondary education, choosing a career path can be a difficult choice for high school grads.

“I remember when I was their age, I struggled so much, trying to figure out what I wanted to be,” first-year UBC Pharmacy student Vanessa Mok told CFJC Today. “All the pressure from my parent, from society.”

Last Friday, some Barriere Secondary Students had an opportunity to learn about a possible career in the medical field, as a roadshow made stops in several rural communities the North Thompson, to engage with high schoolers in the potential for a career in health care.

Joshua Rivard is a first-year student in the Northern Medical Program at UNBC, in Prince George; his path to medicine hasn’t been a straight line.

“In High School, I skipped half of my grade 12 classes,” Joshua says. “I wasn’t, by any means, directed to medicine. You know, for a long time in High School, I was one of the kids who hung out in the smoke pit.”

After working as an electrician throughout early adulthood, Joshua saw his mom pursue a new career path, as a mature student, which inspired him to make a change.

“My mom went back to school when she was older and went into nursing,” Rivard explains. “I got an opportunity to do some volunteering in the hospital. I did some stuff in extended care with her, I got to go to the women’s shelter with her. That’s the practical view I got of medicine.”

After finishing his first year in UNBC, Joshua hopes he’s able to inspire other who may not be in the top academic or financial bracket to consider a career in health care.

“When I see those guys, I try to encourage them and engage with them, and help them realise that you know, just because of how things are going in High School, it has nothing to do with what’s going to happen once you leave.”

For BSS student Karan Gill, that kind of information is a relief.

“[Hearing that] was kind of important to me because I’m not the best at school,” Gill said. He also added, “I really enjoy learning about all the different medical fields.”

Engaging with students, and taking away the mystery of the health care field is what these budding professionals hope to do, in order to maybe inspire these young women and men.

“What I’m trying to tell [these students] is if you have the passion and the interest for something, it ultimately just depends on time,” Vanessa Mok explained. “In the end, you’ll eventually get it, it’s just a matter of when.”


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