Students get a peek inside Mount Druitt emergency

Year 10 Chifley College students learn how the emergency department functions by Mount Druitt Hospital emergency department acting nurse unit manager Erwin Alfonso.

Local students got to see how an emergency department runs at Mount Druitt Hospital, thanks to a partnership between Chifley College and Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD).

The year 10 Pacific Islander students, most of whom had never stepped foot inside the hospital, were shown many wards including the paediatric and renal department as part of a visit arranged by WSLHD multicultural health services.

The program was specifically offered to Pacific Islander youth, a cultural group identified as requiring greater health advice and information.

The highlight of the tour came as emergency department nurse unit manager Erwin Alfonso shared how he struggled with his grades in high school, but through determination and hard work he studied nursing at university and never looked back.

The tour followed a two-hour information session covering topics including youth health, social work, healthy eating, and general information about how patients are managed in hospital.

Chifley College students enjoyed visiting Mount Druitt Hospital.

Multicultural health program officer Dr Murad Hossain said the aim of the partnership is to help de-mystify the health system for young people.

“From the questions the teens were asking and the feedback we got afterward, you could tell they were really engaged and learned a lot,” Murad said.

“It’s a really great way to break down the barrier for different communities and change their perspective of the health system.”

He has previously run similar tours for other community groups including Syrian and Iraqi refugees, aimed to improve health literacy and decrease non-emergency presentations to emergency departments.

Murad thanked Mount Druitt Hospital deputy director of nursing David Lazaro for his ongoing support of community engagement initiatives. Chifley College Mount Druitt campus careers advisor Angela Hooke thanked everyone involved in this tour.

“The students really enjoyed the day and got a lot out of it,” Angela said.

“They were very positive when I asked them about the visit to the hospital.”

More Chifley College Mount Druitt campus students will visit the hospital in October as part of the ongoing partnership with WSLHD.