Health is on the agenda

Students at Edith Creek Primary School had a visit from University of Tasmania’s Rural Clinical School on May 26, with interactive health activities led by fourth and fifth year medical students. Pictured (back from left) are Maci Sweetman, Haylee Swan, Zac Littlejohn, Logan Kay, Rebecca Harrison, Jasmine Quarrell, Tyler Collins, Gyspy Sweetman (front from left) Chelsea Harrison, Eligh Lambert, Charles McCann, Gracey Woolnough, Victoria McCann and Kale Williams.

Learning. Make no bones about it, Edith Creek Primary School had lots of fun during a recent visit from University of Tasmania’s Rural Clinical School.

The interactive program focused on health and covered topics ranging from hygiene to anatomy.

‘Healthy hearts’ had students moving to feel their heart rates rise with the use of a stethoscope while ‘hygiene’ saw them inspect the germs on their hands and learn about ideal hand washing. It was dress-ups in surgical hats and masks for ‘anatomy and surgical’ where students participated in an operation-style activity and ‘injury’ had them learning about sprains and breaks.

Younger students learnt about ‘diet’ and which foods are best to eat.

Principal Erika Lees said students had “a wonderful time” with many wearing their bandages for the whole day and even into the next day.

“Given the time of year and the number of colds around, I thought the focus on germs would be a great reminder for kids about what they need to do to keep themselves and others germ free,” Mrs Lees said.

“Importantly it is also a fantastic way for our students to see different career paths that they may be interested in one day.”

Rural Clinical School co-director Lizzi Shires said the experience was also beneficial for the medical students in more ways than one.

“Our students gain really important skills around communication and teaching, which is really important for trainee doctors,” Dr Shires said.

“A lot of your role as a doctor is to be a teacher so you can communicate effectively.

“One of the things we really want to do is talk about health at a very young age so that young children work out that [health is] a priority.”

“The north west coast has probably got the poorest health in Tasmania so it’s important we get that message out there and we’re also short on clinicians, so we’re hoping that one day some of the students will be doctors or nurses and allied health professionals.”

The visitors included clinical nurse educator Heather Bryer and fourth and fifth year medical students Jack Strugnell, Nathan Vos, Jacqueline Lim and Julian Chang, who is based at Smithton Medical Centre currently for placement.

Of the experience, Grade 6 student Haylee Swan said: “I learned about germs and how long you have to wash your hands for. You sing Happy Birthday through twice. I’ve started doing that now.”

When asked what the coolest part was, Tyler Collins, Grade 5, said; “ I learned how to wrap different body parts if someone is injured.”

Dylan Brookes, Grade 1, said: “I loved dressing up and I found out that your eyes help you to think by looking because your brain doesn’t have its own eyes.”

While fellow Grade 1 student Zane Williams had an insight into the human heart: “I thought that the heart makes the blood, but it actually pumps it all over the body!”

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