MASERU — When 18-year-old Rethabile Ramotubei heard she was going to attend the Career Awareness Day at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, she had no doubt her passion to become a doctor would be fortified. However, all this changed for the IB2 student at the International School of Lesotho, also known as Machabeng College, when she got to know of other careers she could pursue in the health sciences.
“There are so many interesting careers but due to limited knowledge on the composition of the medical sciences field, I was not aware of other opportunities. “I was fascinated by clinical engineering and also appreciated the role played by radiographers, audiologists and physiotherapists in a hospital,” Ramotubei said. She also realised the importance of acquiring skills that are scarce in Lesotho and to understand other opportunities that would emerge from each field.
“What I liked the most was how the awareness prepared us to work hard to attain the requirements needed for each study area and also getting to know the institutions that offer various training programmes.” Fifty students from St Stephens’ and Machabeng College were introduced to various health professions they can pursue after completing their high school education.
These included radiography, psychology, dentistry, audiology, clinical technology, family physician, clinical engineering, occupational therapy, pharmacy and physiotherapy. In an interview, the hospital spokesperson Limpho Seeiso said they realised most students have limited knowledge of other options they can choose from within the health sciences.
“This sensitisation programme is therefore critical to help spark the interest of the students to study in the other other health careers other than those they are more familier with.” She said it was important for students to understand that in order for a hospital to function effectively, a chain of health professionals was needed. “Without a complete chain of all relevant skills, patients can suffer while doctors and nurses are unable to effectively execute their duties,” Seeiso said.
She said the awareness exercise, which is going to be an annual event, is expected to help address the shortage of skills in the little known and less preferred professions. However, one form five student at St Stephens’ in Mohale’ Hoek, Moleleki Mocha, said he understood the importance of opting for other fields to improve the quality of treatment and care.
“Audiology was quite interesting, it’s a scarce skill here and we need more students to train in that area for them to work in various primary healthcare facilities,” Mocha said. Motloheloa Molise, an IB2 student at Machabeng said his choice of career was influenced by passion and the ability of the career to ensure he secures a decent standard of living.
“I am doing sciences and would want to make a difference in my country. I believe I have to enjoy my work and be able to lead a decent life. Before this sensitisation, I was sure I wanted to become a medical doctor, I still want to study medicine but will specialise to become a family physician. Since I know of other options I can still afford to choose from a wider pool if maybe I become limited by the requirements of my first choice,” Molise said.
His other option would be clinical engineering, which involves the fixing and maintenance of hospital equipment and providing technical advice on procurement of equipment. Another student, Ntolo Moshoeshoe, a form five student at St Stephens’ said she fell in love with pharmacy.
“I was drawn to pharmacy by the fact that it provides what is needed to make patients better. In other words, we cannot talk of caring for patients if we do not have the medicines that can treat and also cure their ailments. That’s a very important job in any healthcare facility.
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