Plenty of Career Opportunities in Health

13 August 2010

Taranaki students are finding out first hand how exciting and rewarding a career in health can be.

More than 50 Year 12 and 13 Maori students from Hawera and Waitara high schools are taking part in a project that exposes them to the many different career options available in health.

The Incubator project is a workforce development initiative that gives students an opportunity to build relationships with health professionals, hear their stories and see first hand what the health sector has to offer.

TDHB Incubator Coordinator Jackie Broughton says there are lots of hands on activities and discussion, so students are learning in a fun environment.

The programme links students with health professionals and includes interactive workshops in the hospital.

The workshop presenters, who come from a wide range of health professions, share their experiences of working in health and tell exciting stories about their current role. They include a mental health therapist, pandemic coordinator, physiotherapist, anaesthetist registrar, drug and alcohol councillor, pharmacist, social worker and psychologist.

 “This exposure empowers the students and helps them understand why they need to study the right subjects at school, and they begin to feel comfortable accessing services and supporting their whanau to do the same,” Ms Broughton says.  “Many of the professionals have gone through the same high schools or grown up in the area which helps the students to connect to the pathway into health .”

Incubator was developed by Hawkes Bay DHB and is currently being piloted by Taranaki DHB. The pilot is already proving a success, with students now keen to study health-related subjects. The programme will be offered to other schools in Taranaki in 2011.

It is one of the projects initiated by Taranaki’s Whakatipuranga Rima Rau (WRR) workforce project, which aims to create 500 employment opportunities for Maori in the health and disability sector over the next 10 years.

Increased Maori participation in the health workforce helps improve health inequalities and relieves health sector shortages.  Of the approximate 1600 TDHB employees, 7% identify themselves as Maori. The majority work in the nursing field.

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Taranaki DHB and WRR wish to thank the TSB Community Trust for its support.

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Last updated: Thursday, October 21, 2010

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