The Faculty of Health Sciences’ building on Vas street is one of the world’s most beautiful university buildings, and behind its archaic gate lies the stage of high-level health education. We talked to Edina Vajdu, the current faculty chairperson of the Students’ Union (HÖK).
Szinapszis: What best characterizes this faculty?
Edina Vajda: I think it’s the friendly, familiar atmosphere. I first felt this when I visited the 2017 open-day as a high school student. My opinion stayed the same ever since: whatever the problem may be, it’s always easy to find a helping hand.
Sz.: Students attend a wide range of training in this faculty: much like in other universities students are divided into departments. Could you tell us about this?
E. V.: We certainly have a big variety of departments, in fact, starting in 2019 a new course has started: voice, speech, and swallowing therapy. Those who are accepted to this course get to pick their specialization when they’re applying. The advantage of this is that besides preparatory subjects, they can take professional subjects in their first term.
Sz.: The students of this faculty are in almost every field, from primary and hospital care, rehabilitation, intensive care, all the way through health maintenance and protection. How does the faculty try to preserve these many values?
E. V.: Every department teaches hospital care, rehabilitation, and prevention in relation to their own fields. On the faculty level, they’re trying to preserve this by placing emphasis on all of these. I’ll list a few examples, to show how it is day to day.
In dietetics students get to master the fundamental principles of healthy nutrition, later they will study the diet therapy of different types of illnesses. Simulation rooms allow paramedic students to experience what it’s like working in an ambulance in an event of an emergency.
Simulation rooms are also useful for nurses because they get to practice and master many of their tasks. Health education and prevention are also heavily emphasized, it’s a requirement for one of our optional subjects that allows us to take part in organizing sport, and health days in primary schools.
Sz.: What role does the students’ council, and You, its’ representative have in this process?
E. V.: HÖK mainly deals with educational advocacy and helping with social problems. We’ve traditionally had a great relationship with management, this allows us to help every student find a solution to their problems, it also means that management always pays attention to our pieces of advice and ideas.
In social affairs we wear the fates of students on our shoulders, we hold a Forum before every social application, where students get a chance to ask and get answers to all their personal questions. We also take part in many faculty events and help the organizers run it smoothly: many of us attended Health day last Friday.
Sz.: As future professionals, students must maintain their credibility. What part does regular exercise play in this?
E. V.: I think a healthcare professional can’t maintain their credibility if they themselves don’t live a healthy lifestyle, and regular exercise is an integral part of this. This is exactly why we’re working together with the physical education division to give students many choices when it comes to sports activities. In terms of this, aside from the regular lessons (like Zumba, aerobic, volleyball, handball amongst others), students can apply for hiking, this allows them to move outside, in the fresh air.
Sz.: Unfortunately, especially older doctors are under the impression, that only doctors are true healers, that nurses and representatives of health sciences only play a subservient role in the process of healing. Even though we all feel this statement is false, what stands against this sentiment?
E. V.: Sadly, this attitude still occurs in some cases, however, nowadays it seems like there are fewer and fewer doctors like this. On one of our recent practical courses we talked about this with many workers, they feel that there are much fewer people who think like this, especially amongst recently graduated doctors. Today doctors think of health science professionals as teammates, they also admit that they wouldn’t be able to do everything that a patient requires on their own. For healthcare professionals to stick around they need to be paid properly, and they need to be appreciated as well.