Whole of community facilitators: An exemplar for supporting rural health workforce recruitment through students’ professional experience placements
Coe, S and Marlow, A and Mather, C, Whole of community facilitators: An exemplar for supporting rural health workforce recruitment through students' professional experience placements, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 pp. 1-11. ISSN 1661-7827 (2021) [Refereed Article]
The Whole of Community Facilitator model provides support for healthcare students’
professional experience placements (PEP) in rural regions in Tasmania. In Tasmania, rural PEP is
challenged as healthcare facilities are often small and have limited capacity for staff to devote considerable time to supervising students during PEP. Recruitment and retention of the rural health
workforce in Tasmania is sometimes difficult because the island State is geographically distant from
mainland Australia, and predominantly classified as a regional, rural, or remote area. The University of Tasmania, College of Health and Medicine (the College) explored various initiatives to support rural workforce sustainability, and the project discussed addresses this issue by promoting
rural healthcare facilities as potential employment destinations for students upon completion of
their course. The model supports the delivery of high-quality supervision to students whilst undertaking rural PEP, to foster positive experiences and potentially influence their future career choices.
A successful exemplar was trialled in 2012 and implemented statewide in 2017 using a Whole of
Community Facilitation (WOCF) model. The initiative supports host facilities, supervisors, host
staff, and students and promotes positive placement experiences. The initiative was designed in
consideration of Tasmania’s rurality, and uses a flexible and responsive framework.