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Leeds Beckett aims to get boys into healthcare


Local Leeds school boys had a hands-on introduction to health sciences at Leeds Beckett University as they attended the first annual Boys into Health day.

Boys from Cardinal Heenan School with Meti-Man and Julie Blythe

The event was created by Leeds Beckett for boys in the region in years nine and 10 to get them thinking about the benefits of studying sciences at A Level and the career options open to them in the allied health professions which are traditionally female-dominated.   

Twenty-eight boys from three schools, Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School, Roundhay School, and the Farnley Academy, took part in the Boys into Health activities led by staff and students at Leeds Beckett. 

Each group of pupils took part in four sessions: in the morning, they learnt about speech and language therapy and physiotherapy in the University’s state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Suite; and in the afternoon, they attended sessions on nursing and dietetics. 

Julie Blythe, Clinical Skills and Simulation Team Leader, led one of the sessions and explained: “In my session I introduced the boys to the courses that we offer, in particular physiotherapy and sport and exercise therapy, but also the technical side such as simulation, and how that relates to healthcare courses. Simulation is a bit like role play but is more real – we use mannequins to make healthcare situations as real as possible so that students can look at different things such as physiology as well as how they would introduce themselves to somebody in hospital.” 

Uzair Hussain, a second year BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Therapy student, added: “I think it’s important to raise awareness that there are other courses out there and that there’s no set gender to any course. I feel like having a mixed variety of gender within different courses can lead to different outcomes both on the courses and in the industry. For me, I chose a health-related degree as I have a great interest in sport as well as physiotherapy and wanted to do something incorporating both. Sport Therapy appealed to me because it was an equal mix of all the sport science that I like, alongside physiotherapy.”

Cardinal Heenan boys with meti-man

The Clinical Skills Suite at Leeds Beckett enables students studying across a range of health professions the opportunity to train using state-of-the-art equipment.  The suite is currently used by students studying courses including Nursing, Physiotherapy, and Occupational Therapy and consists of a high-tech simulation suite with critical care bed, high-tech human patient simulator, a film recording system and viewing room, a community living space with a ceiling hoist and adapted equipment as well as four teaching rooms equipped for the teaching and safe practice of a range of healthcare skills. 

The life-size human patient simulator provides automatic physiological responses to those practising care techniques on it and is quickly becoming adopted worldwide as the closest and safest way for learners to familiarise themselves with real situations.

top image l-r: Jeff Agyei, Albert Asimah, Thomas Collier, Amir Khan (all from Cardinal Heenan School) and Julie Blythe

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