Healthcare Aspirations Event- Aston University
On the 2nd of July our clinical researcher lead, Kash Arfan and I attended the Healthcare Aspirations event at Aston University.
The event was aimed at secondary school students aged 14-17 who are aiming to go into healthcare related careers so we leapt at the opportunity to show them what a career in genetics could be like. For some students this was the first they’d heard of clinical trials and their relation to healthcare, many had arrived at the event with the aspirations of a career in primary care but came to realise that perhaps they’d like the more lab based career that companies such as Future Genetics offer.
Students from all across Birmingham came to the city centre university to discuss their futures. Staff from many healthcare professions as well as from Life Sciences courses at several Birmingham-based universities, congregated in Aston’s great hall and we loved sharing our work with people in our field as well as answering the various questions the students had. We enjoyed answering an eclectic range of questions on the effects of clinical trials on the general population, what they thought of health inequality and even how the budding scientists could follow a career in genetics and clinical research.
After a successful morning discussing our work Kash was invited to speak on the panel ‘What Does it Take to Pursue a Career in Healthcare?’ along-side Karen Newberry, a senior lecturer in the occupational health department at the University of Derby. This was a great opportunity to s
hare what we love about our work, the challenges we’re presented with and how, and why it’s all worth it. Mrs Newberry informed the students that one of her favourite things about being an occupational therapist was seeing the affects her work has in helping people live a normal, pain-free life. I think, in this, she summed up our ethos, she could empower people to work and enjoy themselves around their pain and improve their quality of life.
We were also glad to be able to empower the students to take charge of their future, we hope we gave them the tools to investigate their options further. Some were the first in their family hoping to go to university; some knew exactly what they wanted to do but needed to know how to get there; some of them knew they were interested in healthcare but were shocked by the diverse nature of the sector. We were delighted by the interest everyone showed in the possibility of a career in genetics as well as the enthusiasm they showed for ending the health
inequality we discussed. We found it reassuring that they were outraged by the issue and were interested in how we’re working to solve it.