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As originally posted in Star Metro Vancouver
Starting this September, learners who want to explore the field of health science before committing to further education and a specific career path will have the opportunity to do so when Vancouver Community College (VCC) launches its pre-health sciences program.
“The program ultimately helps students to succeed by preparing them for the next step,” says Debbie Sargent, the dean of VCC’s School of Health Sciences. “Because the program gives students exposure to options, it will benefit those who are thinking about health and aren’t sure which program would be best for them, (such as) recent high school graduates and those who are considering changing their current career path.”
During the 32-week program, students will gain an appreciation of professional roles and responsibilities in the health-care system while also acquiring the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to help them succeed in a health-science career that is best suited to them.
“Some courses offer foundational knowledge such as biology, chemistry and math,” says Sargent. “While others look at the roles within a health-care team, the importance of interprofessional collaboration, medical terminology and career planning. It’s a wellrounded introduction to health science.”
Delivered through a combination of lectures and practical learning, the program leaves room for hands-on application throughrole playing, field trips and group work. It also allows for flexibility, as some courses are presented in a hybrid format, which combines in-person and online learning.
Pre-health sciences grads will have the advantage of having two seats in eight VCC health science programs reserved for them. Among these are: health care assistant, practical nursing, health unit co-ordinator, dental reception co-ordinator, dental assisting – certified, pharmacy technician, medical laboratory assistant and occupational/ physical therapist assistant. In particular programs, there are also opportunities for exemptions from certain coursework that students complete in the pre-health sciences program.