Fedelma O’Farrell, Dublin Regional Coordinator, gives an insight into the Skills @ Work Programme and how inspirational the students found it…..
Mount Seskin Community College, Jobstown have just completed their second year of the Skills @ Work Programme with Tallaght Hospital. The huge variety of skills and jobs in the hospital was presented to the students by staff who loved their work. The enthusiasm, energy and desire to share their experiences with the students was exceptional.
The programme was led in the hospital by Loretta McKay. At the Day in the Life Session, Loretta spoke of her own role in recruitment and the job of finding the ‘right’ people to work in the hospital. She introduced the students to a Records Administrator, a Nurse
Tutor and a Hospital Photographer who all explained how their careers began and developed over time. The theme that ran through all was how important teamwork is, regard for colleagues and supporting each other through the working day, she explained – attitude is everything.
The students visited the play therapy room in the Children’s Hospital. Here children are introduced to treatments/procedures using toys like a teddybear to model how injections were given, blood taken etc. taking away the ‘scare factor’. It was a fun place where children could forget about their illness and through the play be supported and helped understand what was happening to them. There are 17 Play Therapists in Ireland and a need for more which was certainly food for thought! The Physiotherapy Dept. was next, where a Physio spoke to them about her work and how they help patients of all ages.
There was also a talk and demonstration by Dr. Ronan Collins, Consultant Physician in Older Adult & Stroke Medicine on the hospital ‘Robot’. Students were completely fascinated to hear how the ‘Robot’ was used to diagnose strokes quickly so that drugs could be administered within the target time, improving patient chances of either a full recovery or minimising the effects of the stroke. Dr. Collins connected his laptop to the Robot in the Emergency Room of the hospital, he then treated the students to a full demonstration of how he operates the Robot and explained that he can do this from any location. Students studying Home Economics were shown the hygiene factors HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) standards – invaluable experience.
During the Wrap Up session students expressed how inspired they were by what they learnt from the involvement of Tallaght Hospital Staff with them and three of them hope to get into medicine – their experience with the hospital has truly set them on the road.