Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge 2014….. and the winners are….

A couple of months ago I was asked to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge. Being offered such a great opportunity is a bit of a privilege, and although I was keen to take part in the day, I was also a bit daunted as it is such a full on day involving a flurry of university students competing to present their management plans for a difficult case to expert judges. I had only attended the 2013 HFTC final session as a spectator, and knew that taking on the role of the MC would be…. hectic…..

8 teams from universities around Australia came together at Queensland University of Technology to compete in the Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge on Friday 29th August.

I ended up being the MC for the first two sessions of the day, with some help from Jane Furnas. Thanks Jane!! Robin Nash from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) was the MC for the third session of the day. I was fortunate enough to meet the judges, each of whom was a specialist in at least one aspect of managing the complex case that had been put forward to the student teams to manage:

    •    Associate Professor Ian Mackay is from the Clinical Medical Virology Centre at the University of Queensland and has a popular blog Virology Down Under
    •    Leo McNamara is a Senior Lecturer from the School of public Health and Social Work at QUT, and is the former Deputy Commissioner, Queensland Ambulance Service
    •    Michael Handy is a Clinical Nurse Consultant and Trauma Care Coordinator of the Trauma Service at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

So what actually went on while I was MC?

Well, from where I stood, it was a fast-paced procession of teams of students coming up to the front of the room and presenting their prepared responses to a difficult case about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS CoV). The teams then participated in a community engagement activity.

I must say, the second session was the most nerve-wracking for the students. I was nervous for them!! Each team selected a previously unseen extension question, which covered tricky scenarios that came up with respect to the MERS CoV case. They had 4 minutes to come up with an initial and ongoing management plan for the scenario and present it to the audience and judges. To finish of session 2, there was a non-judged activity called the “Ward Round From Hell.”

Jane Furnas overseeing the “Ward Round From Hell”

When I was able to sit back and really watch what was happening when the final session was underway, the 3 teams who had reached the finals were given a final extension question, and took part in an activity that required serious team work.

The final 3 teams are given their last challenge

The 3 finalists were the teams from Monash University, the University of Queensland and the Trohpiq Metro Health Club. Congratulations to the University of Queensland (UQ) team on taking out the title of Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge 2014 winners! I must say that from observing team UQ throughout the course of the day, they exhibited the most cohesive teamwork, with no single member “taking over” during the preparation and presentation of each task.

Team University of Queensland with their trophies – presented by Robin Nash

Carmel Blackburn (Nursing), Emily Frawley (Exercise Physiology), Rebekah Moran (Pharmacy), Courtney Scott-Hunter (Social Work), Tereza Stillerova (Occupational Therapy), Michelle Yee (Speech Pathology)

You can tell a lot about a team when they’re under pressure for time…. and yes, the HealthFusion Team Challenge is literally a pressure cooker where there is VERY limited time for each of the tasks. What I really love about the competition is that it brings together health students from a number of different disciplines who otherwise mightn’t get the chance to interact in a university setting.

If you are a university student and would like to get a team together to compete in the 2015 HealthFusion Team Challenge, contact Stephanie Castaneda, the Project Manager via email or on (07) 3138 7350. You can find out more about it at their website.

Amanda – Founder My Health Career. :-)

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