Around 40 students from seven Tauranga schools have taken part in a day-long event focussed on increasing the Maori workforce in health.
The Te Whe pilot programme for Year 10 students was held at St Johns Ambulance Tauranga headquarters on 17th Avenue.
The students enjoyed an ambulance tour and rescue helicopter visit as well as interactive exercises on IV injections, wound management care, use of a resuscitation kit, and an introduction to CPR.
“I enjoyed all of it but liked doing the IV injections into the dummy let the most,” says 14-year-old Nathaniel Tane from Te Wharekura O Mauao.
“It has made me interested in health and to help people by wanting to become a doctor. I want to study health to be a doctor.”
It was a wonderful opportunity for Maori rangatahi to be exposed to health related activities says Bay of Plenty district health board Kia Ora Hauora coordinator Mau Tane.
“The objective is to highlight health career opportunities to rangatahi and provide them with an opportunity to meet health professionals from all different specialities, see what sparks their interest and to encourage them to think about their subject selections in high school,” says Mau.
“The event ran smoothly from the whakatau at the start to the karakia at the end. The programme was well received by all involved.
“It was a great success with teachers, rangatahi and St John staff all enthusiastic about this pilot programme, and we are hoping to make it an annual collaborative event,” she says.
The event was run collaboratively by the BOPDHB Kia Ora Hauora, St John and Whakapiki Ake (Auckland University Faculty of Medicine). The schools involved included Te Wharekura O Mauao, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Kura Kokiri, Tauranga Boys College, Tauranga Girls College, Otumoetai College, Aquinas and Te Puke College.