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Breed opportunity through creativity

New UTS program puts the focus on solving problems by thinking across disciplines. 

Midwives are among a range of health professionals that could benefit from an increased focus on creative thinking, education experts have said.

“Students that really know how to encourage collaboration, creativity and energy towards problem solving will become the transformative, change-making leaders we need,” said Claudia Virdun, a researcher and lecturer in nursing at UTS.

She says a renewed focus on creative thinking will open up new areas of opportunity for those working within the healthcare system, and beyond.

UTS professor of midwifery Maralyn Foureur, thinks future midwives will be faced with more complex care, and as such, graduates that think outside the box are necessary.

“When the huge tsunami hit Banda Aceh, we had to send over midwives, nurses and doctors, who encountered situations that the world has never seen before,” Foureur said. “They had to be incredibly creative … using only the things around them in the environment to enhance the health of countless people caught in tragedy.

“We [need to] prepare graduates who can think in transdisciplinary ways in order to come up with creative solutions to new problems that might arise in the future.”

In a university-wide initiative, students at UTS across a range of disciplines including midwifery, arts, architecture and fashion will be given the opportunity to complete a double degree by combining their undergraduate course with a bachelor of creative intelligence and innovation.

Selected midwifery students will join the course, which aims to help graduates “maximise the potential of their chosen profession, making them highly sought after graduates with the ability to identify and develop solutions to some of the most complex issues that face their disciplines and society”.

Dr Tanja Golja, who has been working on the educational design of the course, believes a focus on this type of training will assist graduates in being able to communicate, explore, network and negotiate in ways that include ideas from other disciplines.

“It’s very practice-based in its focus … really looking at how our graduates can have an impact in their professional practice and advance those professions.”

This type of learning is an important step in producing future midwifery leaders who will, Foureur said, behave in inclusive, emotionally intelligent and creative ways to solve the problems of the future.

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