Section 4: Getting Ready
Send out a confirmation letter once dates and times are confirmed. Written forms of communication are generally more accessible to teachers and are good to refer to when calling to follow up issues.
Send out a Photography Consent Form with a cover letter (appendix 3) to the school, and RHSV Permission and Information sheet (appendix 8) to parents at least 3 weeks prior to visit date to ensure time to distribute the forms and receive permission from parents and guardians. Alternatively, ask the high school if they have an existing consent form, as many schools have a process for this in place.
Recruit members by promoting it to the executive committee and general members at least three weeks prior to the RHSV. Depending on how many volunteers needed, advertise the RHSV through emailing club members, recruitment posts on Facebook and Twitter, during lectures, club meetings and other RHC events.
RHC students from a variety of different health degrees and backgrounds (e.g. rural vs metropolitan, school-leaver vs non-school leaver) should be selected. Also having both male and female volunteers will allow students to feel comfortable in engaging, and for those schools who have a high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population where there is gender-specific cultural protocols for interactions. Consider collaborating with nearby RHC’s to increase the mix of health professions and sharing resources. More information about various health careers and printouts can be found online.
Confirm member attendance and notify students of their roles and responsibilities while on the RHSV, the time commitment and intent on providing funds for travel, meals and accommodation. Consider organising a half-day training session the weekend before the RHSV to run through the program. Ensure all volunteers are available on the day of the RHSV. This is especially important if the visit spans across multiple days, that it does not interfere with university exams or other priorities.
Working with Children Checks may be required so check state or territory requirements about working with children. Ask schools for their suggestions. More information is available at appendix 4.
The lesson plan
See Section 5. Have main sessions scheduled in terms of timing, resources and student participation. This could be useful to send to the teachers prior to the RHSV too.
Borrow equipment such as Gutsy Gus (anatomical manikin), stethoscopes, tendon hammers, etc from your university to use during your RHSV.
Promotional resources from the NRHSN (such as the pamphlet in appendix 7), your university, the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and Rural Workforce Agencies can be sent out to you to distribute during your RHSV. Get in contact with the stakeholder at least six weeks prior to your scheduled RHSV to allow enough time for postage. Items such as pens, notepads, showbags, sunscreen and hand sanitiser may be available to order. These organisations also have several online resources which you may like to download and take along to the visit.
Transport and accommodation
If needed, hire a car or bus and start booking accommodation for the RHC members who will be attending the RHSV. Ensure to follow up booking confirmations to confirm payments and that the booking is still correct. Keep petrol receipts and other evidence of expenses for reimbursement through your RHC administrator after the RHSV.
Send out a media release one week before your visit (appendix 5) to get your RHSV in the local news. See section 8.
Prepare student feedback forms (appendix 10) for the end of the RHSV and evaluate them. Also consider an RHC member evaluation form to be filled out by volunteers once they have finished the visit.