Report by Zainab, a Year 10 student at Whalley Range 11-18 High School:
That’s right, Whalley Range High School invited over 70 health care staff and experts from the health care field, ranging from doctors, nurses, medical researchers, paramedics, psychologists, physiologists, surgeons, all types of therapists and oh gosh, that word count is going pretty fast so I’ll be stopping now. You get the gist though, we had all types of people take time out of their busy lives to come and have a chat with students, including getting involved with activities to help better understand what each person in the health care system does exactly.
We firstly had a nice warm welcome from Aisha (our head girl) and then the organiser of the day’s event, surgeon and parenting Governor Naseer Ahmed, usually working at the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Want to know how busy he really is? Well, just as he had begun his speech, all steaming right ahead, no glitches so far…when his phone went off. There’s probably never a break for the man! But, laughing it off with the rest of us, he pushed on ahead.
Naseer described to us his life story. He briefly stated the ups and downs of his life, from when he was born in Birmingham (claiming that it was a downside, but I really don’t see why though. All the best people I know are from Birmingham…kind of), to failing his Maths GCSE and having to go all the way over to Sunderland to get into University. Hold on, those are all downs. Ok, no, there are plenty of ups, especially seeing that he had got himself to build himself up again and flourish into a vascular surgeon. Anyway, one thing that Naseer told us, that truly is the Oxford definition of the word ‘Inspiration’, was…
Failing is just a wake-up call, the only bad thing to do is not try in the first place.
It’s very true that failing is a whole universe-sized better than not even giving something a go. It’s basically a billion times worse than failing, and I suppose that was one of the core messages of the day, along with a few more I’ll be prattling on about. INSPIRATION WHOO!
Let’s not forget about the health care heroines and students, who went around in the hall to test out the stalls of professions and what they had to offer, like trying of physiotherapy bands and exercises, 3D glasses and a device to wipe your ‘derriere’ if you’re unable to! Students had a blast trying out some of the workshops throughout the day. Many got themselves busy with a bit of stitching. No, not embroidery, we save that for textiles. Students were able to try out on a realistic model and attempt their hand at stitching up some wounds with real surgical equipment. It looked to me like they were ready to give it a real go, but that’s obviously not an option for the faint-hearted.
Another workshop was key-hole surgery. Sorry, not what the locksmiths in the audience assume it is. It is actually a way to make extremely hard-to-do and complex experimentation easy to see and do by enlarging the image of your object on a screen and doing what must be done, a bit like looking through a keyhole! Except, you can actually see it properly. Probably like a locksmith can.
I was able to get a comment off student Mariyah, who was working her very hardest on her stitchery. She said:
So far the workshop I’ve done has been really fun, and it seems to be so realistic as well! I wouldn’t mind doing something like this in the future!
I now know that if my fingers ever fall off from typing way too much, Mariyah will come to stitch me right back up! See what I did there?! Oh, come on, just some medical humour! It never hurt anyone…? I’m wasted here.
But workshops and falling-off fingers aside, I was able to chat to plenty of guest speakers and Governors on how their day went and what they think about our Big Health Day overall, because honestly, no one can tell you better about the day than the people who took part in it. Here we go, let’s see what some people had to say!
Thank you to everyone who came along and had a go. The chances of us forgetting something like this are very slim. I guess we’ll have to wrap it all up from here, with a few words from Ms Patsy Kane OBE MA, Executive Headteacher (Sep 2014 – Aug 2019). Thanks for reading!
Gilly Mehraban, Director of Admissions, School of Health Sciences, University of Salford:
Totally brilliant! As a lecturer from a university, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such enthusiasm from such bright students, and the questions they’ve been asking are amazingly detailed. The students have shown to love the opportunity to find out more about the healthcare system, even if they’re unsure about their future.
Julia Bridgewater, Chief Executive of Central Manchester University Hospital:
Today was an amazing event and a fantastic opportunity for both students and staff, to explore the opportunities that the health field holds for those who may not have even thought about a career there! Today makes them realise that the NHS is not just doctors or nurses. It’s engineers, researchers, gardeners, charity workers and hundreds of other that are all just as important.
Hazel Remeika, School Governor:
I don’t know where to start! The Big Health Care Day has been a huge success in my eyes, but the truth is every time Whalley Range holds exciting events like this, it’s no wonder that this is one of the top schools in Manchester. Not only do the students get a chance to let their curiosity flourish, but tells the girls that they are not pressured to just one idea of a ‘doctor’ or a ‘specialist’. I’m definitely impressed once again by Whalley Range High School and hope events like these continue!
Ms Patsy Kane OBE MA, Executive Headteacher (Sep 2014 – Aug 2019):
The speakers were inspiring, and the wisdom, the life experiences from everyone who attended today have helped everyone in some way or less. We deeply appreciate all the staff who’ve taken the time to come in and talk to our students. Thank you very much for joining and participating in our Big Health Care Day.