School pupils from Aberdeen city and shire, Moray and Angus are to participate in a day of interactive workshops aimed at giving them a fuller insight into studying to become a health professional at the university.
Hosted at the university’s Garthdee campus on Wednesday 23 November, ‘Studying Health and Social Care’ will see 138 S5 and S6 pupils from 24 schools choose two out of a selection of eight workshops. Each workshop will provide in-depth information on course content and career prospects, much of which will be framed by hands-on activities.
This is the first year that a specific event for senior pupils has been arranged by the university, having previously been open to S3 to S6 pupils. A separate event for S3 pupils, which will be jointly hosted by RGU and the University of Aberdeen, will take place early in the new year.
This decision to run separate junior and senior events allows the workshops to be more focused on the specific needs of each age group. Today’s event will therefore focus specifically on preparing for higher education, individual course requirements and advice on how students can make the best choice for themselves.
The selection of activities on offer to the student delegates is wide, with disciplines including sports and exercise science, physiotherapy, nursing and midwifery, pharmacy, diagnostic radiography, social work plus nutrition and dietetics.
Pupils taking part in the occupational therapy workshop, for example, will carry out activities in which they will put themselves in the position of patients with various medical conditions. They will be encouraged to try out mobility and disability aids themselves to increase their awareness of the problems faced by people who have disabilities and to gain an insight into some practical solutions which may be available to them.
Jennifer Caldwell, lecturer at the School of Health Sciences, is coordinating the occupational therapy workshop. Commenting on the day of activities across the Faculty of Health and Social Care, she said: “This will be a valuable opportunity for young people to explore their career opportunities and interests. Participants will come away with a much better appreciation of the diversity of professions in the health and social care sectors, and the range of areas in which they can work. Occupational therapy, for instance, always surprises students as they are often unaware that it is applied in settings as wide ranging as hospitals, prisons, schools, within the voluntary sector, care homes and in the community.”
Professor Valerie Maehle, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care, commented: “I’m delighted that interest in this event is so high. Feedback from similar events in the past has been very positive, with delegates frequently commenting on how the interactive workshops and engagement with staff has helped them hone in on the profession they wish to pursue upon leaving school.
“Health and social care professions continue to be highly popular and competitive to enter, and it is vital for prospective students to consider their fields of interest well before leaving secondary education. We believe that it is vital to arm young people with as much information as possible to help them make a career decision that is right for them.”
Top right: (from left) Megan Reid from Peterhead Academy and Francesca Lihou from Aberdeen Grammar School get to grips with equipment in the Occupational Therapy workshop.
Bottom left: (from left) Sam Somers, Gary Grant, Duncan Tait (all from St Machar Academy) and Matthew Laird from Hazlehead Academy take part in demonstration in the Physiotherapy workshop.
Notes to editor
The following schools will be participating in the event:
• Aboyne Academy
• Elgin Academy
• Forfar Academy
• Forres Academy
• International School of Aberdeen
• Keith Grammar School
• Milne High School
• Peterhead Academy
• The Gordon Schools, Huntly
• Torry Academy
• Alford Academy
• St Margaret’s School for Girls
• Cults Academy
• Aberdeen Grammar School
• Webster's High School
• Monifieth High School
• Inverurie Academy
• Hazelhead Academy
• St Machar Academy
• Albyn School
• Buckie High School
• Fraserburgh Academy
• Bridge of Don Academy
Communications Officer | Faculty of Health and Social Care
Robert Gordon University
Tel: 01224 262389