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Bachelor of Health students make an impact through work placements

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Oct 6, 2022

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

Bachelor of Health students are getting first-hand work experience in the healthcare sector through experiential learning opportunities offered at the University of New Brunswick (UNB).

Thanks to its courses covering the biological and social determinants of health and the management of healthcare services, the bachelor of health provides the training needed for students to thrive in the healthcare sector. The out-of-the-classroom knowledge shape graduates into engaged, critical thinkers with the skills to support our communities.

For Erin Lawton, among the first cohort of students admitted to the program, a desire to help others has been a guiding light throughout her education at UNB. She’s flourishing at her current work placement with Gentle Path Counselling Services.

“I knew Gentle Path took on summer students, so I reached out hoping they might have a placement for me, and they did! I was remunerated for my internship through [Future NB] funding at no cost to them,” said Lawton.

Lawton worked as the community outreach coordinator for the non-profit, social enterprise and registered charity. Gentle Path seeks to provide group and individual professional mental health services to everyone, regardless of their patients’ means to pay.

This opportunity came through the Social Sciences in Practicum course (SOCS 4501), which helps students from all disciplines engage in impactful community-engaged internships.

“Through SOCS 4501, students are getting the opportunity to apply their classroom learning in meaningful experiential learning opportunities,” Dr. Sarah King, director of the office of experiential education at UNB, said. “Internships like these allow students to reflect on their learning with even more dedication to their personal and professional goals.”

Riley Thomson, another bachelor of health student taking SOCS 4501, wants to help patients in long-term care homes and address systemic issues in New Brunswick’s healthcare system. Her placement is providing an opportunity to make an impact with her education.

Thomson has worked in long-term care homes for years during her studies, including her current work placement with Shannex, a nursing home services provider. Like Lawton, Thomson’s placement is provided by Future NB funding, managed by UNB’s Office of Experiential Education, to ensure a paid work placement at no cost to her employer.

“What I like about working in a long-term care home is the connections you make and seeing what you do – even the little things – directly impacts others,” Thomson said. “Considering New Brunswick has an aging population combined with our strained healthcare system, we need to think creatively and strategically on how we care for people.”

The bachelor of health program opens doors to various careers in healthcare thanks to the partnerships established during placements and inspires students to pursue further studies. It prioritizes interdisciplinary and experiential education, working to train the healthcare leaders of tomorrow, today.

Students interested in applying for the bachelor of health program can find more information at unb.ca/sj-health. To learn more about experiential learning opportunities at UNB, see unb.ca/experientialeducation.

Media contact: Heather Campbell