Pharmacy and Practical Nursing students in need of volunteer patients

Tania Killian and a CPR mannequin CREDIT: DEE-DEE SAMUELS
"Volunteer work is always going to help you, you're giving back to the greater community and that's what people are looking for so when hiring in the workforce," said Tania Killian.

Fanshawe College has put out a request for students to participate as volunteers on Thursday mornings as mock patients for the Pharmacy and Practical Nursing Simulation Lab. The Pharmacy and Practical Nursing students need three to four student volunteers per week to interview. According to Tania Killian, simulation manager at Fanshawe College and emergency room nurse, the mock interviews are vital for students to become well rounded practitioners in their field.

“It’s a huge opportunity for these students to communicate with people that they may have in their practice later on. The pharmacy students and the nursing students are getting an opportunity to interact with real people,” Killian said.

Killian knows only too well, as a nurse in a fast-paced emergency room, how important communication skills are, especially with the variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures. The volunteers are a huge aspect of the education where interacting with different people is an everyday occurrence.

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“When they go out to their placements, they will have had the opportunity to talk with different people, with different histories, different speech patterns,” Killian said. “Some people have accents, some people have hearing problems… so they get to experience these situations before they work in real life situations.”

The ability to build relationships is a crucial skill to have when entering the workforce, but none more so than in the medical field. You can’t learn how to build relationships from a book. Killian pointed out how volunteering for any student is an invaluable experience in developing much needed soft skills, which can not only enhance their education but improve their resume and employability in the real world.

“Volunteer work is always going to help you, you’re giving back to the greater community and that’s what people are looking for so when hiring in the workforce,” she said. “How are you going to give back to the greater community… that’s a really good trait that people are looking for when you’re trying to apply for a job.”

Killian also mentioned that the Fanshawe teachers and faculty, along with the volunteers, put in a great effort to ensure students get a well-rounded educational experience knowing how valuable these skills are in the medical field.

“We’ve got some amazing faculty and some amazing volunteers that are making this work…the faculty are willing to make this work; volunteers are making it work and then the students get the best experience.”

If you are interested in volunteering as a mock patient, you can contact Killian at simlab@nullfanshawec.ca.