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  • Writer's pictureMaria Kestane

Classes cross career boundaries for Humber’s health sciences students

Humber's Faculty of Health Science and Wellness (FHSW) introduced its newest weekly initiative for students within the faculty.

From left, Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle Promotion student, Katherine Parkinson, Food and Nutrition Management student, Ariela Shick, Food and Nutrition Management student, Danny Perdaud, Food and Nutrition Management student, Nima Pya and Food and Nutrition Management student, Puneet Singh are debating on a fact or myth card about diabetes information. Photo credit: Maria Kestane


Humber’s Faculty of Health Science and Wellness (FHSW) announced it will be hosting “IPE Wednesdays” on Wednesday evenings throughout the winter semester.

Starting Feb. 1, students were given the opportunity to attend free, interprofessional educational workshops to receive Co-Curricular Records (CCR) credits.

The faculty’s interprofessional education (IPE) program coordinator, Sarah Wilkinson, said she’s looking forward to the weekly workshops and the value they’ll bring to her faculty’s students.

“I’m excited to bring students from many programs within the faculty together to do authentic learning and work together on important topics,” she said.

From left, Faculty of Health Science and Wellness professor Joseph Cicchillo speaks with Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training student Kristofer Guinto about his blood pressure test results. The test took place during an IPE event involving Exercise Science Lifestyle Management students collaborating with Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training students for their treadmill test. Photo credit: Maria Kestane Wilkinson said the push for these in-person, weekly workshops came from the students themselves. “Whenever we do IPE events, [the students] always ask me why aren’t we doing more of this,” she said. “We can see they really value the workshops, so we thought of making an open-lab where students can come in when they want.”

Throughout the semester, FHSW students will be able to participate in activities alongside other FHSW students from their respective programs.

Massage Therapy professor Susan Bessonette and Traditional Chinese Medicine instructor Anna Dix developed the activities alongside Wilkinson and other faculty members from the AIH cluster.

The workshops were designed to bring awareness to the various types of care that health service providers offer within their respective professions.

Wilkinson said once students enter the workforce, the idea of working uni-professionally, or in a single specific field, is not a realistic expectation.

“We want to give them the opportunity to practice collaborative skills, learn what other professionals do, and practice and fail at some of the more challenging aspects of working with another professional,” she said.

We’re trying to give students early exposure at the foundational level,” Wilkinson said.” When they enter the workplace, they’re still going to be learning about other professions and how to work with others, but they’re going to be more prepared to do it.”

From left, ESLM student Tarik Smith-James is taking his client's height as part of his client assessment as an ESLM professional. His colleague Alejandra Ramirez Ovalle is recording the information and preparing the next step in their client assessment. Photo credit: Maria Kestane

The workshops also provide students the opportunity to further develop their transferable workplace skills in an interprofessional environment. Workshops that facilitate this include the Conflict Management workshop on Feb. 15, or the Motivational Interviewing workshop on March 15.

Wilkinson said the effects on students are long-lasting, regardless of what the activity entails.

“You can see the confidence and pride in themselves develops a lot,” she said. “Not just pride in themselves, but also pride in their profession as a team member, too.”

Humber’s FHSW consists of more than 34 programs offered both in-person at the college’s North Campus, and online.

Within the faculty, the Integrative and Allied Health (IAH) Cluster comprises seven programs, including Massage Therapy, Pharmacy Technician, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hearing Instrument Specialist, Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physiotherapist Assistant, Systems Navigator, and Wellness Coaching.

Programs are clustered based on relativity to one another. Those within the IAH cluster’s programs are allied with health and work within the health and wellness system.

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