Flagstaff County communities introduced future healthcare professionals to the advantages of living and working in rural Alberta communities at a recent RPAP Medical Skills Weekend event.
The Flagstaff Community Medical Recruitment and Retention Committee, Alberta Health Services, and Covenant Health, teamed up with RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta to showcase lifestyle and career opportunities to 55 Medical, Nursing, Physio and Paramedic students from the University of Alberta and NAIT.
Three local high school students joined students at Killam Health Centre on Nov. 14, where they received a crash course on medical practice, nursing, EMS and physiotherapy in a rural community. Local healthcare professionals instructed students at a variety of skills stations, which covered topics such as suturing, IV starts, ultrasound, EMS Spinal Immobilization, and dementia.
Participants were treated to two meals and an evening of entertainment at the Sedgewick Royal Canadian Legion branch, as well as tours of a local Hutterite colony and the Daysland Health Centre, all hosted by the Flagstaff committee, and sponsored by RPAP.
According to Flagstaff County Reeve, Gerald Kuefler, the Medical Skills weekend is an opportunity to show future healthcare professionals what the rural lifestyle is like.
“It's groundbreaking [for our communities] to get the rural perspective to the new, prospective doctors,” says Kuefler. “Rural has its benefits, and that is what we want them to see.”
Skills Weekends, sponsored by RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta, are arranged by the RPAP Medical Students' Initiative Coordinator and are scheduled throughout the year in rural Alberta communities. To learn more about Medical Skills Weekends, see www.rpap.ab.ca/skillsweekends.
RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta is an independent, not-for-profit company funded by the Alberta Ministry of Health. Established in 1991 by the Government of Alberta, RPAP supports the ongoing efforts of Alberta’s rural physicians, their families and communities to improve the quality of rural health care.