Northern Health continues youth engagement in Chetwynd

CHETWYND, B.C. — Northern Health staff travelled to Chetwynd Secondary last week to talk to students about potential career opportunities.

Earlier this month, Northern Health stopped by Dr. Kearney Middle School in Fort St. John as it aims to engage with youth in the northeast as a part of the health authority’s recruitment and retention efforts.

On December 8th, Allie Werry, Brianna Young and Hilary Gosnell spoke to about 40 students in grades 10 and 12 about their careers, education and passion for working in healthcare.

Werry, a registered nurse, said the presentations are exciting because healthcare workers can display their passion for the industry.

“Healthcare is something we get into because we’re passionate about helping people. It’s really exciting to be able to share that passion and that drive,” Werry said.

She said there are a variety of careers in healthcare and doesn’t want anyone to feel like there isn’t an option for them.

“It’s just nice to be able to open doors for people,” Werry said.

Overall, Werry said she had a great experience interacting with students and her fellow coworkers.

“The school was great for having us. They were really accommodating,” she added.

Sheila Neuls, the school’s career education coordinator, said five Chetwynd Secondary alums returned to the school last year to present a slideshow about their careers.

This year, she contacted the Chetwynd hospital for more opportunities, which is how she connected with Byron Stewart, a recruitment and retention ambassador for Northern Health.

“He’s a recruiter, so he’s trying to get the information out there, then he hadn’t actually seen a presentation, and we already had one lined up, so he asked if he could sit in on it,” Neuls said.

She said the presentations are informative as they provide a broad scope of what goes on inside a hospital.

On top of bringing in presenters from Northern Health, she said through a mandatory program called CLC, or Career Life Connections 12, the school brings in a variety of professionals.

“During that class, we try and bring in people from the community to talk about their experiences and careers so that people have an idea of maybe some other things out there that they don’t know about,” Neuls said.

“Last year, we had somebody who was in forestry come in, and one of our students decided to do that, so now that’s what she’s taking.”

Stewart said the youth engagement will continue to take place throughout the Peace River Regional District and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality to raise awareness of the wide variety of careers in healthcare.

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