Published on 9 September 2015
Two new Bachelor of Health Science majors at the University of the Sunshine Coast will open up a range of exciting career pathways for graduates in the health sector.
From 2016, USC will offer a Bachelor of Health Science (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health) and a Bachelor of Health Science (Prosthetics and Orthotics).
Lecturer in Public Health Dr Jane Taylor said students of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health major would gain the skills and knowledge to make a real difference in the lives of Indigenous people at an individual and population level.
“It’s the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health undergraduate program in Queensland,” Dr Taylor said.
“The program will give graduates a deeper knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and the unique challenges faced in the area.
“There’s also the chance for people already working in this space to gain credit for their existing certificates and diplomas, so they can extend their opportunities for leadership and management.”
The new degree was welcomed by Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Program Manager of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Sharon Barry, who said it could lead to a range of fantastic career opportunities.
“They could be working as an Aboriginal health worker, in hospital liaison, as team leaders or in management,” Mrs Barry said.
“Graduates would be well-placed to enter this field and take on its unique challenges.”
The new Prosthetics and Orthotics Health Science major will provide specialist training in an increasingly high-tech area of health, said Professor of Occupational Therapy Marion Gray.
Graduates will be equipped to assess clients, provide treatment plans and manufacture devices to help address the functional limitations of people resulting from illness, disease or disability.
“For people who enjoy working with people but are also creatively or technically-minded, this degree offers a path to a really interesting career,” Professor Gray said.
“Prosthetists or orthotists work through the whole process in their jobs, from client assessment and care to the design of devices, and to their manufacturing. It’s extremely diverse.
“USC has fantastic links to elite Paralympic sports, including hosting a high-performance Paralympic swimming squad, as well as expertise in biomechanics, robotics and 3D printing technology, which is becoming increasingly relevant in this field.”
USC will introduce a range of new study programs in 2016. For details, go to www.usc.edu.au/rise-and-shine
— Gen Kennedy