It seems more school students than ever are considering a career in the health industry.
Seymour’s GOTAFE campus is enjoying its biggest ever intake of VET in Schools (VETiS) students in its health course, with this year’s cohort of 26 students keen to pursue a career in nursing, physio, dietetics and even mental health.
‘‘The course’s popularity has just gone up and up,’’ teacher Selina Bennett said.
‘‘Word of mouth has spread well and I think we just have a good reputation amongst the schools that we’re providing a good service for the kids.
‘‘It’s an excellent pathway in to any health field, not necessarily just to go in to nursing. A lot of the students have a keen interest in physiotherapy, dietetics, osteopathy and a lot of other fields.
‘‘It’s a great idea to tailor their interests in the health field.’’
School students who undertake the two-year course as part of their senior secondary school certificates — either VCE and VCAL — attend classes one day a week. One day per week is spent on campus at TAFE, while on the alternate week, the students undertake placement.
The students’ scores from the course also contribute towards their ATAR.
In total, GOTAFE has more than 830 students from more than 100 secondary schools undertaking a VETiS course.
‘‘In the (health) VET program the students learn all the basic components of infection control, workplace health and safety, communication skills, and they are currently doing an AIN (assistant in nursing) unit which gives them all the base skills to assist in a hospital or aged care environment, so they learn to take observations and document them, and they learn patient care,’’ Ms Bennett said.
‘‘Next year they learn a lot of anatomy and physiology and medical terminology, and the allied health program unit which sets them up for a wide variety of job possibilities.’’
St Mary’s College Year 10 student Victoria Anderson said the course was a great way to get a foot in the door of the health industry.
‘‘I’m looking at eventually doing physio or midwifery, so this is sort of a stepping stone towards that,’’ she said.
‘‘We’ve done infection control, privacy and confidentiality and assisting in nursing, which will all help me in the long run.’’
Nagambie’s Tasmyn Taylor-Lloyd, who attends Euroa Secondary College, said her school encouraged its students to do a TAFE course.
She has hopes of being a mental health nurse, and sees this course as a great stepping stone in to the industry.
‘‘I didn’t originally have that career in mind, but it’s something that I’ve become interested in over time,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ve always been interested in the way the brain works and the way we do things, and when I came here we had a whole lesson on mental health as part of our assessment, and I think that really opened my eyes to wanting to become a mental health nurse.
‘‘I’ve loved the course so far. It’s very hands-on, so it makes you more confident for when you do go out on placement and things like that.
‘‘Placement has been a big help for me — that’s where I have become more confident in what we learn, because you’re actually there doing it.’’