The rural school visits are the primary initiative of Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network’s Rural Health Careers Promotion programme.
The rural school visits, led by Hauora Taiwhenua in partnership with the Students of Rural Health Aotearoa Chapter and funded by Te Whatu Ora, aim to encourage young people in rural areas to study a health discipline at a tertiary level.
This initiative involves groups of tertiary health students touring rural regions to visit rural schools, practices, hospitals, and other health providers in the area. During these visits, the tertiary students host interactive health career workshops with school pupils from year 9 to 13.
These workshops are an opportunity for the tertiary students to share their advice and experience, to showcase the career opportunities available in health, and to inspire rural young people to consider pursuing a career in health.
The rural school visits are integral to our efforts to address the chronic health workforce shortages throughout New Zealand.
Hauora Taiwhenua has tried to fill this need through sourcing international General Practitioners to fill the gaps. Through the NZLocums & NZMedJobs team, Hauora Taiwhenua recruits international doctors and nurse practitioners, for short and long-term placements, which help provide immediate support for under-staffed rural communities.
Hauora Taiwhenua acknowledges that the long-term solution to this crisis requires us to train more doctors here in New Zealand and prepare them to work rurally where they are needed most.
Since 2019, Hauora Taiwhenua has run the rural health careers promotion programme to encourage secondary students to pursue a career in rural health. Research has shown that students with a rural background are more likely to choose to work in a rural location when they are qualified.
Through the Rural Health Careers Promotion programme, the Network’s goal is to ensure that we have an enthusiastic, resilient, and robust rural health workforce in the future.
Tertiary health students tour rural regions of New Zealand visiting rural schools for a 1–2 hour long presentation and workshop. The tertiary students talk to year 9-13 students about different health disciplines, what it’s like studying at tertiary level, and answer any questions the students may have.
During the visits, the students host interactive health career workshops where pupils learn more about the practical techniques you would use in a rural career; from CPR, to checking each other’s teeth, practicing sutures on a banana, and more. These interactive activities have always been a fan favourite amongst the schools, giving a deeper understanding of what different health professionals do daily.
Through stories and advice, the students will reveal not only the opportunities in health but also showcase health as a positive and viable career pathway for rural young people no matter where they live.
Are you a rural school that would like to be included on our next trip?
Throughout the year, during the tertiary student’s school breaks, we will have multiple tours in different regions. If you wish to ensure your school doesn’t miss out, you can register your interest and give us your contact email.
To register your interest, contact our careers coordinator email@example.com
Are you a current tertiary health student and want to volunteer to participate on the school trips?
We want a wide range of health students to volunteer, from different disciplines and from years 2+ of study; that includes social workers, oral health, psychology, medicine, occupational therapists, and more.
Check out our events calendar below for our upcoming trips and how to apply!