World Health Day: 9 ways BCIT made health a top priority

BCIT makes health a priority.
Health is a human right for everyone. We have a role in improving the quality of safety of health care services in our world.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unsafe and low-quality health care severely impact lives and costs the world trillions of dollars every year. As an educational institution that offers a depth and breadth of health-related programs and research, we have an important role in improving the quality and safety of health services in our world.

World Health Day is April 7 and it marks a time where we raise healthcare awareness and acknowledge our community for their work and progress made in advancing the industry. These 9 stories of when the community at BCIT made health a top priority remind us that together, we can bridge gaps in the healthcare system and better ensure that everyone has access to this basic human right.

1) Exposing human trafficking in Canada and mobilizing the healthcare sector to help victims
Several years ago, Tara Wilkie, a BCIT Nursing alumna and Instructor for Forensic Health Sciences, traveled to northern Thailand to help establish a medical clinic for tribal children who were victims of sex trafficking. The number of victims and children at risk shocked her. This led Tara to join forces with a colleague to design a ground-breaking online training module that improves the identification and response to human trafficking.

2) BCIT School of Health Sciences uses robots to simulate working with real patients
She breathes, her heart beats, and she bleeds. BCIT Specialty Nursing Program uses robotic dolls to provide students with hands-on training before they enter real patient-care settings. These robots can be programmed to mimic medical emergencies that students otherwise wouldn’t face during clinical practice. The experience is very real and prepares students to deal with crisis situations.

3) How BCIT is using augmented reality to improve patient safety
Sponges, tweezers, and surgical gloves are only a few types of surgical objects commonly left inside a patient after surgery. As many as thousands of cases are reported each year where surgical objects are unintentionally left in a patient. BCIT Nursing Instructor Manu Gill is using augmented reality (AR) to improve patient safety by ensuring that all surgical instruments are accounted for in the operating room.

4) It’s here: BiKube, the revolutionary mobility assistive device
Working closely with Entrepreneur Jean-Pierre Berger, the BCIT MAKE+ team successfully launched a revolutionary mobility assistive device, the BiKube. BiKube is a new hands-free, indoor mobility device that combines sleek design with functionality to help people with mobility challenges maintain their autonomy, stability and independence while navigating tight spaces around their home.

5) Sheila Early nominated for YWCA Women of Distinction Award
Sheila Early, a long-time Forensic Nursing Educator at BCIT, is a nominee for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Health and Wellness category. Sheila is recognized for her work in improving healthcare and education systems to better support victims of sexual assault. Sheila opened the first sexual assault clinic in BC and started a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program for Canada in 1993.

6) How one BCIT researcher’s work is enabling ethical, innovative product development globally
Faced with the lack of medical supplies in Uganda, healthcare providers are often left feeling helpless and unable to treat patients. BCIT MAKE+ worked with local researchers in Uganda to chart a path that provides solution to improving healthcare in the area.

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7) Using Amazon Alexa in healthcare
BCIT Computer Systems Technology (CST) partnered with BCIT Specialty Nursing to improve access to patient diagnostic information by using the Alexa app from Amazon. This innovation allowed nurses to work hands-free while accessing diagnostic reports.

8) How this BCIT grad made protecting the world’s waters his life work
Billions of people across the world struggle to survive because they do not have access to safe, clean water. Nigel Bennett, BCIT alumnus, is committed to protecting the world’s most precious resource, water, and to raise awareness for the importance of clean and safe water. His company is responsible for cleaning up oil-spills in the water and he has served more than 3,000 clients worldwide in the last 25 years.

9) Health-care students at BCIT get new $78.3M centre
BCIT will soon be home to a new Health Sciences Centre for Advanced Simulation (HSCAS) that will educate and train future health care professionals. The new centre will be one of the largest centres for health simulation training in Canada and will be unique in its ability to replicate a variety of hospital and laboratory settings.

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