WDHB hosts onsite health careers day

24 March 2014

From left: WDHB staff members Bianca Allcock, Jasmine Ong, Christina Khouri and Kelly Ryan presenting to students at the 21 March WDHB Health Careers Day.
Twenty teachers, 30 Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) staff and 140 secondary school students met today at Wanganui Hospital to introduce health professionals to students looking at establishing a career in the health sector.
Whanau Ora workforce project leader Lianne Kohere says the onsite careers day is a key event for secondary schools and the WDHB which sees great value in offering students an insight into health sector careers, the training required and the subject choices they’ll need to make to enter each profession.

Mrs Kohere says the students were invited to ask questions and interact with senior staff from medical, nursing, midwifery, allied health, mental health and Kia Ora Hauora (a Maori health workforce development programme aimed at promoting health careers to students and current health sector workers) who gave short overviews of their services and the professions within them.

While nursing is the largest workforce in health, allied health offers the most diverse range of options which include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, speech therapists, dieticians, dental therapists, radiographers and pharmacists.
WDHB/MDHB human resources regional general manager Hentie Cilliers says it’s important for students to understand that not all of the more than 100 different careers that are available in health involve direct contact with patients.
“Most students come to us knowing about doctors and nurses but very few are aware of allied health, mental health and non-patient contact careers,” Mr Cilliers says. “Portfolio managers, business managers, IT analysts and administrative roles within clinical records, patient scheduling services, human resources and financial administration are all vital cogs in the wheel.”
This is the third year in a row that Wanganui Hospital has hosted the careers day. Anyone wanting further information about health careers is invited to visit the WDHB stall at the Whanganui Combined Schools Careers and Trade Expo in the Whanganui Memorial Hall on Tuesday 20 May.